Here is the short version of the story which I have taken the liberty of excerpting from a source which offers no attribution.

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in The United States Armed Forces.  It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. Celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War 1; major hostilities of World War 1 were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th month in 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.  The United States previously observed Armistice Day.  The U.S. Holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. Public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. Military veterans while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.  It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. Remembrance that also occurs in May which specifically honors those currently serving in U.S. Military.

The long story is the importance of remembering that, on this special day, we pay homage to those heroic men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country and fellow Americans.  All paid some while many paid all!  We have reached the point in this country where we have become remiss in teaching history—especially that which may be unpleasant.  While many seek to tear down statues and destroy anything historically unpleasant, it is an integral part of who we are and how we got here.

The very fact that I am free to write about this and your free choice of whether you to choose to read it or not flows directly from the fact that some young man or woman was willing to put their life on the line to insure you continue to enjoy these freedoms.  You should thank a veteran for the very fact that we are still an English speaking country. They felt that freedom was worth defending and fighting for.  

I fear that the empirical proof is, with the current generation, we are increasing willing to cede those liberties to others in order to maintain our “safe zones” and “safe places.”  Take the word of an old man, that’s a fool’s bargain.  “ Those who would give up essential liberty to secure temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  Benjamin Franklin said it better and more succinctly than anyone I’ve ever heard.  I can only hope I’m wrong but it does appear that the toughness exhibited by past generations of Americans has been “taught” out of many of today’s latest iteration of citizens.

The actions of so many of our young people—especially those who inhabit our college campuses—is so counterintuitive to the spirit that helped this great nation we can’t help but arrive at the conclusion that their rationale simply must be a learned behavior.  For us, many of the beliefs which they espouse do not meet the measure of common sense.

Probably a good project to undertake this Veterans (yes, that is correct, there is no possessive used in Veterans) Day would be to offer solemn recognition for the sacrifices of those who gave all in the defense of America and the most free country in the world.  Prayers and special thank yous issued at gravesites all across the nation would be especially welcomed.  Getting an extra day away from work is special but we would council everyone to take a few minutes during that day in recognition of the men and women we are honoring on a very special national holiday.  Thank a soldier for their service!

No position taken nor method employed seems to be sacrosanct in the pursuit of radical political positions in today’s world of “anything goes.”  Stunts and claims are deemed acceptable for positions that, at one time, would have been

considered embarrassing and inane.

We’re all fortunate that we live in the Central Valley of California where the very essence of patriotism is alive and well.  Mid Valley Publishing had the good fortune of being invited to be a participant in the Veterans Day parade in Sanger this past Saturday.  One’s chest virtually swelled with pride at the overt display of the colors and thanks for the contributions of those who defended America’s freedoms.

For our part, special thanks go out to Wally’s Body Shop in Reedley where the modifications were done, at no cost, to the World War II vintage tripod which held the 50-caliber Browning machine gun that was mounted on the hood of the Vietnam era Jeep we drove.  Many thanks to Wally’s for their patriotic contribution.  We recommend you add them to your list of good guys!

But, as always, that’s only one man’s opinion.

Fred Hall is publisher of the Dinuba Sentinel.

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