The Times West Virginian

November 11, 2012

Extraordinary patriots, our nation’s veterans, have earned honor

Times West Virginian

— There are many seemingly ordinary men and women who have distinguished themselves with service to their country. They are our neighbors, friends and people whom we do not know at all. But their common bond is that they performed a duty and service for our America.

Once a year, we set aside one special day to honor them. They are known as our veterans.

Throughout our illustrious history, these dedicated men and women have protected and defended our land by offering their very lives, if necessary, to guarantee our freedom.

Many of them carry with them daily physical and emotional scars gallantly earned in their service to country. Those who have passed on and those who remain with us are joint recipients of our utmost honor, gratitude and respect.

These brave patriots have given a portion of their lives in service to their beloved land. The least we can do to show our deep appreciation is not only to honor them one day a year, but also to find ways in which to show our respect and gratitude to them on a personal basis.

Any country is only as strong and invincible as its standing military forces. Throughout American history, when duty called, the young and not-so-young men and women left fields untilled, houses in progress, families to raise and the comfort of home to march out to unknown circumstances and lands to fulfill their patriotic call to duty and country.

From Minutemen to spacemen, Americans have chosen duty over danger and, in so doing, preserved and protected our homeland. We should often extend our appreciation to these veterans of myriad age, race, gender, education, religious beliefs and social standing. With all their diverse backgrounds, they have united in one cause and one determination.

No other group in our United States of America’s history has been more valuable and respected than this admired group of citizens whom we fondly and gratefully call our beloved veterans.

May we earnestly pass on to the approaching generations the honorable respect due to all who are identified as veterans. May the uniform and flag of our nation remain cherished symbols of our blessing to be called Americans. May the price so dearly paid by these gallant wearers of our nation’s colors never in the least fade from our memories.

God bless America and all who served her devotedly and well. You are our heroes all. Thank you!

— Elton Slusser