Thank you

Dear Editor:

Looking back brings to me a lot of powerful, moving thoughts about this day.

The facts are simple enough. November 11 is Veterans Day. The day when those of us who have served in America’s military think back to what it means to us. We are grateful for the opportunity.

There have been 11 wars beginning with the American Revolution. In these conflicts from our founding to today’s news reports, a total of 42 million Americans have wartime service in our military.

Of this total, 650,000 died in battle. Another 309,000 died from other causes in the theaters where they served. Today, we have almost 17.5 million living American veterans of wartime service, about 5.5 percent of our total population.

Americans should take the time on this Veterans Day to thank the soldiers still in Afghanistan who have to constantly look over their shoulders anticipating assaults from their supposed allies. Those fighting in Afghanistan and those who have fought in all previous American wars should be honored 365 days a year, not just on Veterans Day. U.S. soldiers have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the good of this country.

Every American should reflect on this holiday, on how every soldier has put his life on the line, so their fellow citizens can enjoy the basic freedoms delineated by the Founding Fathers. Especially combat veterans and their medivac teams who go into the gates of hell so we don’t have to. I think most Americans appreciate your collective bravery and sacrifice. I salute you!

So, if you know someone who has served in any branch of the service, wartime or peacetime, or both, this is the day to shake his or her hand and to say, “Thank you for what you did for us: We are grateful for your devotion to duty and to our country.”

Jim Sawicki

This story was posted on November 7, 2013.