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

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.