Saturday, November 11, 2006

Salute a Veteran Today

Patriotism seems so passe nowadays in certain circles, but for those of us with family or friends who have served, take the time today to thank them, be it in person, by phone or email. Tell them thanks for their service to this country and remind them how much they are appreciated. Today I salute my late father and brother, and remember them fondly.

The New York Post has a nice editorial this morning: Salute a Vet...

November 11, 2006 -- Today is Veterans Day - when America stops to tip its collective hat to those who've answered the call to serve their country.

Here in New York, the day takes on a special feeling, with one of the most moving parades of the year. The march kicks off at 11 a.m., heading up Fifth Avenue, from 23rd Street through to 59th.

Many of the brave men and women of America's wars take part - whether aging soldiers from conflicts long ago, or the younger veterans of Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

They march united under the shared experience of having put their lives on the line for their country - and for the liberty it spreads across the globe.

Making this particular Veterans Day even more noteworthy, Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 25th Reserve Regiment, based in Garden City, just arrived back from duty. They had fought in the Iraqi hellhole of Fallujah for seven months.

Welcome home, guys.

Yesterday, President Bush bestowed what is only the second Medal of Honor in the Iraq war to a Marine corporal from the upstate town of Scio: Jason Dunham.

Cpl. Dunham gave his life by smothering a grenade in 2004, saving the lives of two fellow Marines.

These are the courageous sons and daughters of America who ignore vacillating whims of popular opinion over foreign missions or the quivering voices of spineless politicians.

They go where they are told.

They go where they are needed.

They do what is required.

And, when permitted to do their jobs, they do them better than anyone.

America surely owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to its veterans. It is because of them - and their willingness to go in harm's way for their country - that Americans enjoy enormous freedoms and safety.

Indeed, it is because of them - to a wholly under-appreciated extent - that the entire world enjoys its measure of liberty and security.

So go out and salute America's vets today. If you get the chance, stop and shake the hand of one who's served - and say the only words that are needed.

"Thank you."

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