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Editorial: Make special effort to thank a veteran today

Last Modified: Friday, November 08, 2013 5:19 PM

Today, Nov. 11, is the one special day of the year every American should make a special effort to thank a veteran for his or her service to our nation and for securing our freedom

The holiday was established as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. By agreement of all powers, the war ceased at the 11th hour of the 11th day that year. The name was changed by Congress in 1954 to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all American wars.

If you are a veteran, thank you for your service. Those who aren’t veterans should thank a friend or family member who is.

Unfortunately, there have been many wars since World War I and American military personnel are still in harms way in the war winding down in Afghanistan. Don’t forget the men and women of our military who are on the fighting front today. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

All World War I veterans are now gone. The population of World War II and Korean War veterans is fast dwindling, but we need to make sure their last days are ones of dignity and honor.

Our Vietnam veterans are reaching their golden years, and there are many young veterans around from the Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Veterans Administration needs to improve its support of those veterans who need help, and we need to make sure the federal government fulfills its responsibilities to them.

The world is neither safe nor stable in many regions and treating our veterans right should be considered an important part of national defense, as well as keeping our military at peak efficiency.

The war for many veterans does not end when the fighting stops and they are discharged. Veterans need help with education, jobs, mental and physical rehabilitation services, as well as housing. Let’s not let them down when they have done so much for all of us. With some 15,000 veterans in Calcasieu Parish, it shouldn’t be hard to find a veteran today to thank for his or her service. Take the time to give one a simple, but sincere, thanks for their 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, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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