America’s veterans deserve our respect and recognition


File photo

United State Marine Corps veteran Bill Jobe sings with fellow veterans during a Veteran’s Day ceremony held at the Armory in November 2011.

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

nagelberghayleyI often Facebook search ‘events near me’ to find unique social opportunities in the area that I may not have known about.

These could be events run by student organizations or community-wide happenings.

On Monday, when I looked on Facebook, I saw many election-related events; I learned about some semi-formal events on campus, some concerts and more.

But there was one topic for which there were notably limited events — Veterans Day.

In the 11th hour of the 11th day during the 11th month of 1918, World War I reached its official end.  A year later, the United States celebrated this anniversary with the first Armistice Day.  Over the years, the commemorations went from marking an end of WWI and remembering those who died in service, to celebrating the aim of world peace and showing gratitude to all who serve.

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I remember listening to the radio as a child and being encouraged to thank anyone I saw in uniform.  My older brother, and later I, corresponded with members of our armed service for various lengths of time.

It seems that the only time most people have any reason to remember our troops in this day and age is by watching viral videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their families.  The military, and by association war, is a hard topic, but our veterans deserve our endless recognition.

A few years ago, a song came out by Mitch Rossell entitled, “A Soldier’s Memoir.”  In the song, it says, “Last Saturday they honored us, with a small parade in town.  And when they shot off those fireworks, I nearly hit the ground.”

These two sentences show just how little we know about the men and women who have put themselves on the frontlines away from home to ensure we can continue our lives as we wish here.  We put our own wants and needs first, such as having a parade with fireworks, and we don’t stop and think about who it is we are trying to celebrate.

There is a lot going on every week, and students should of course take their time to enjoy social events, but this Friday everyone should take the time to acknowledge how lucky we are to have those luxuries.

While we should be aware of the members of our community every day, Veterans Day gives us all the opportunity to genuinely show appreciation for the people who enable us to live a life in peace.

Thank a soldier, take a moment to reflect on those who are no longer with us and be grateful for the life you have here.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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