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Editorial: Take the time to thank a veteran for their service

Last Modified: Sunday, November 11, 2012 12:18 AM

Whether you go to a formal ceremony, place a flag on a veteran’s grave or cruise around the Avenue of Flags in Lake Charles, make an effort to thank a veteran for his or her service on this Veterans Day, and give some thought to the founding principles of this nation. The Sons of the American Revolution Avenue of Flags will be on display 6 a.m.-4 p.m. today at Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery.

Southwest Louisiana has always been a patriotic area, and veterans have been numerous here — from the very start of this nation until the present day.

We celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11 because it was the day that an armistice was signed ending the fighting in World War I. For years the day was observed as Armistice Day, but with the coming of World War II, it was changed to Veterans Day to include American veterans of all wars.

Veterans from this area took part in every war this nation has been involved in, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the most recent conflicts. Others have served this nation well during peacetime and in the numerous military actions that have occurred in between major wars. All deserve our thanks and appreciation.

It is also important to think about the founding principles that make our nation worth defending. Probably the best statement of our founding principles is in the Declaration of Independence.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Our nation does not defend a king, a president or even a government. We defend sacred principles and rights derived directly from God. That is why generation after generation of patriotic young people have stepped forth over the past 238 years to risk their very lives whenever those sacred rights are threatened, or to maintain them in time of peace.

It is equally important for civilians to keep this nation on track politically by staying ever vigilant and prevent demagogues from taking the nation in a radically different direction from the one laid out by the Founding Fathers.

So have a wonderful Veterans Day, take part in a ceremony, place a flag on a grave, cruise around the Avenue of Flags, or just thank a veteran for his or her service.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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