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A Point of View: Remembering our veterans

Dr. Robert Heichberger
SPRINGVILLE — “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” As we remember John F. Kennedy’s words, we pay special tribute to America’s veterans and to our current armed service personnel. We are indebted to them and we salute them for their extraordinary bravery and noble sacrifices. We also express our heartfelt tribute to their loved ones, as well.

Much of America’s story has been written by the selfless deeds of hardworking and dedicated men and women who are committed to liberty and justice in a free society.

America’s veterans and service personnel are truly endemic of that ranking. Our nation celebrates Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and thank them for defending our homeland and liberty. General Norman Schwarzkopf said, “It doesn’t take a hero to order people into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those individuals who go into battle.”

Our military helps preserve the dignity of a free society. Their displayed dedication to duty is the springboard that supports freedom.

We, as a society, can govern ourselves and our wrongs may be controlled by balances of power.

Our veterans represent freedom at its best and liberty at its finest. They are our national heroes and warriors. The cost of freedom is not purchased in a lump sum; it is paid in installments, by veterans and members of the armed services. What Winston Churchill said of the royal Air Force is also true of our veterans and our heritage. “Never before have so few done so much for so many.”

On Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice was signed, ending the first World War.

Nov. 11 was consequently celebrated as Armistice Day. After World War II, that date became known as Veterans Day.

Approximately 42 million Americans have served – and more than 1 million have given the supreme sacrifice – so we and future generations can live in freedom. We are benefitting from their noble courage, sacrifice and dedication, and so are countless of people, around the world.

Kennedy said, “Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to untiring effort, to continual sacrifice and to the willingness, if necessary, to die in its defense.”

Thank you, veterans and our armed forces. Whether serving on bases and in ports at home or deployed across the globe, you have endured hardships and dangers to protect our nation and defend people around the world.

Their commitment and valor bind us in our past, inspire us in the present and strengthen us to meet the challenges of the future.

From this former U.S. Marine: “Semper Fidelis. Always be faithful!”

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