Reader's View: For ultimate sacrifice, thank you

November 10, 2013 

On Veterans Day we honor every man and woman who has proudly worn the uniform of the United States military. We celebrate all those who have bravely defended our nation from the forces of evil and tyranny, and helped free countries around the world from the grips of despair.

On Veterans Day weekend, patriotic Americans gather all across our great nation to remember the countless sacrifices our veterans have made. As we honor them, we should also reflect on the price paid for our victories, as well as the many liberties we enjoy today because of the selflessness of our nation’s heroes.

Veterans Day was formerly observed in the United States as Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the pact ending World War I. Nov. 11 officially became Veterans Day on May 24, 1954, by act of Congress. This day is set aside in honor of all those brave men and women of our Armed Forces who have fought in defense of the United States of America.

As Americans, we must never forget the true meaning and significance of Veterans Day. We must call upon all citizens to honor the memories of our fallen heroes and the service of those still fighting to protect our freedoms. It is our duty to support those members of our Armed Forces who are serving today, our veterans, and the families of our fallen heroes.

It has been said there is no greater call than a call to service of one’s country. Every member who has served in our nation’s Armed Forces wrote out a personal check payable to the U.S. government for an amount up to and including their very lives. This is the commitment that carried them into harm’s way on foreign soil to meet and defeat the enemies of democracy on the field of battle. They were prepared to give the last full measure of their very existence to preserve those previous freedoms and liberties, which our forefathers fought and died to acquire.

Our fallen heroes still whisper to us from the grave. If we listen carefully, even today, we can hear the muffled sounds of their call to arms in defense of our nation.

This same spirit of freedom is carried in the wind and echoes down through the ages. It can be found in the voices of our children playing in the schoolyards, in the bountiful goods offered for sale in privately owned places of commerce within our community, in the faces of our citizens in polling places on Election Day.

It can be found in abundance in most every corner of every community in this great nation. This spirit is like an eternal flame that cannot be extinguished.

It was lit by the courage and blood of patriots, fanned by the winds of patriots to a brightness beyond description, and then sheltered and protected by members of our Armed Forces from the storms of tyrants and dictators who were both blinded by and feared the intense light of liberty and freedom.

This Veterans Day is a day to remember those who sacrificed for us and those who continue to pay the ultimate price to defend our freedoms and liberty. This is a day to acknowledge the price that has been paid for the freedoms that we enjoy, a price far beyond measure.

Bob Jones is past state commander, Department of Idaho Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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