From sea to shining sea, the nation paid tribute to its members of the armed services Sunday, both with somber traditions such as a Virginia wreath-laying ceremony attended by President Barack Obama to honor those who didn't make it back from active duty, and more lighthearted perks including red-carpet treatment at Las Vegas casinos for those who did.
Veterans Day urges us to salute all living service members, the very people who share your house of worship, live down the block, work at the local grocer or beauty shop, teach our children, who did exactly what was asked of them — serve their country.
It was a moment Nina Berman did not expect to capture when she entered an Illinois wedding studio in 2006. She knew Tyler Ziegel had been horribly injured, his face mutilated beyond recognition by a suicide bombing in the Iraq War. She knew he was marrying his pretty high school sweetheart, perfect in a white, voluminous dress.
Honor Flights bring veterans from around the country to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials of the wars in which they fought. The current focus is on World War II veterans and any veteran who has a terminal illness.
I recently came across an area on a local highway where American flags were on display for the upcoming Veterans Day celebration. Under each flag was the name of a fallen hero and the war or country where his ultimate sacrifice was made. Not one of these occurred in the United States. Every flag represented the life of an American who gave his all so that freedom might be attained in other lands. It made me proud to be an American.
"If you can read this, thank a teacher," reads a popular bumper sticker, with some versions adding: "If you can read it in English, thank a veteran."
The Florida and Georgetown basketball teams will play Veteran's Day weekend this year at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville.
"Freedom isn't free." We usually hear this on occasions such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It's meant to remind us of the brave American troops who put their lives on the line daily to protect our liberty and preserve our security.
On Veterans Day 2011, the media was awash in stories about the high rate of unemployment among veterans. At the same time, members of Congress issued hollow statements about the importance of appreciating the sacrifices of young Americans serving abroad, while President Obama did his usual thing at Arlington National Cemetery ("Obamas mark Veterans Day at Arlington Cemetery," Web, Friday).