Magazine article Army

Veterans Day

Magazine article Army

Veterans Day

Article excerpt

Veterans Day is our annual acknowledgment of the respect and honor we pay to those who have served in our armed forces over the centuries that we have existed as a nation. We laud not only those who gave their lives in battle or only those who served in our wars, but also those who manned our ramparts, trained and ready through periods of peace when their existence alone deterred overt actions and countered covert actions by a potential enemy.

Many veterans earned individual honors and recognition, and were rewarded with medals, promotions and auspicious assignments that brought fame and, perhaps for some, fortune. But the reward for most has been the legacy of freedom they bequeathed to their progeny, today's Americans. Not all found the opportunity to be heroes, not all served during a crisis or a crucial campaign, but throughout our history, a core of our citizenry has provided determined service, dedicated to defeating the threat of the moment and to the enduring heritage of the nation. Many served in troubled times when they lacked resources, even public support, and suffered doubts among their own, but remained devoted to the protection of the nation.

The "sunshine soldiers" of the Revolution, the draft rioters on both sides in the 1860s, and the draft dodgers who ran to Canada in the 1960s are more prominent examples of an element of our society willing to desert a cause. Today's and yesterday's politicians who abhor decisions to employ force, who predict quagmires, and pundits and reporters who complain about ongoing operations or a lack of progress or seek only to find fault and lay blame, all work to undermine confidence among military personnel. …

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