A Tribute to Many Heroes

Our View: We should remember our veterans’ sacrifices everyday,
not just on holidays
As local residents gathered in downtown Morgan Hill last Friday, it was clear they understood the sacrifices our military men and women have given to our country throughout the course of history.

We were especially touched by pastor Jack Clegg, who clarified the selfless contribution of all our veterans from all wars.

“We need to remember freedom is never free … It is because of the American veteran, not the pastor, that we have freedom of religion. It is because of the American veteran, not the reporter, that we have freedom of the press. It is because of the American veteran, not the campus organizer, that we have the right to assemble. It is because of the veteran, not the politician, that we have the right to vote,” Clegg told the crowd of 75 people Friday morning.

As of Sunday, Nov. 13, 2,065 American soldiers had lost their lives in the Iraq war since it began in March of 2003. Those soldiers, like so many before them, have made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

The reports come almost daily: A suicide bomber has mingled among the policemen who drop by every day for an early lunch at the Qadouri Restaurant, one of the few remaining restaurants on a street that used to be full of them. American soldiers, armed with M-16 rifles, in full battle dress, rush to stand guard. The toll: more than 40 dead and two dozen wounded.

The innocent are dying, too, and the end, sadly, seems to be nowhere in sight.

Support for our troops, regardless of personal position on the war, is imperative. The young men and women serving in the armed forces of the United States are performing their duty in hostile, unpredictable and explosive territory.

While we keep those fighting close to our hearts as the war in Iraq proceeds, those who have fought through this tumultuous century also should not be forgotten

Their numbers are quickly decreasing.

Only a few World War I veterans remain. Veterans Day actually marks the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, which ended what then was considered the Great War. An estimated 2 million Americans served in Europe after the U.S. entered the war in 1917.

Perhaps only 50 WWI vets remain.

And World War II veterans have entered the twilight of their lives and are now passing at a rate of more than 1,000 per day. Soon, they too will be gone, but their contribution to our country and the world must always live on in our memories.

Despite World Wars, cold wars, the threat of nuclear war and unthinkable terrorist attacks, most of us remain secure and comfortable in our lives.

We owe such a great debt of gratitude to our veterans. Their sacrifices have allowed us to pursue happiness and enjoy the life and liberty that the Declaration of Independence speaks to.

Thank you, veterans, one and all. Not just on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day, but every day.

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