Editorial: Honor our veterans today, and every day | CraigDailyPress.com

Editorial: Honor our veterans today, and every day

A memorial sculpture outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 was first placed last fall to commemorate the service of Moffat County soldiers in World War II.

Veterans Day can often be the forgotten holiday during a busy year, especially with the buildup between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Veterans certainly remember it, but for many of the rest of us, it is often passed up for the better known Memorial Day, which in turn has been deprived of its meaning with parades and backyard barbecues in years past. But Memorial Day has a different meaning.

Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

On Veterans Day – every day for that matter – we should take the time to remember those that have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and free here at home.

Many don’t know or don’t stop to think about where Veterans Day came from. The Armistice that ended World War I with Germany was signed 101 years ago. World War I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

It was one year later, on Armistice Day, that President Woodrow Wilson issued a famous statement about veterans and that war and peace. Part of his statement read: “To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”

Military service requires a variety of sacrifices – distance from family, interruption of careers and of course, putting oneself in harm’s way, in real and present danger. Only a special few can do it.

For that service and those sacrifices, the men and women who serve and have served in the armed forces deserve our enduring thanks and gratitude, not only on Veterans Day, but every day on earth.

On Monday, some World War II veterans, now diminished in number by age, will be gathering at some Veterans Day ceremonies, and Americans everywhere must make it a point to recognize and thank them. Theirs was indeed the Greatest Generation, marked by the service of so many who literally left their homes, left the farm fields and the factories, to go to strange lands and save their country and the freedom of those within it for the generations to come.

Editorial Board

Sheli Steele,
general manager for Craig Press

Joshua Carney, editor

Dwight Siverson,
community representative

Tonia Santee,
community representative

Contact the Editorial Board at editor@CraigDailyPress.com.

But we must remember as well, and salute, literally and figuratively, the ones who followed, the ones who fought in Korea and Vietnam and in the Persian Gulf and in the war on terror thousands of miles from home. And even those who did not see combat served with honor and distinction.

On Monday at Moffat County High School, the school will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony. The day includes an assembly starting at 11 a.m. with a tribute to local veterans, followed by lunch as students eat and converse with the guests of honor. For more information on the Veterans Day ceremony, call MCHS at 970-824-7036.

That sacrifice for our beloved country carries with it the same distinction today it has had since the definitive battle on that huge field in Yorktown, when Gen. George Washington commanded a victory over British forces and, in effect, took the last step toward the formal creation of this Republic.

The flag that has flown since has had several derivations, but the courage behind it and what it represents goes unchanged.

Take the time to thank a veteran today, and gather yourself in that moment to be grateful for all those men and women have sacrificed and will continue to sacrifice moving forward for this country and its people.

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