There is more to honoring vets than saying thanks
November 10, 2006
It is appropriate that Veterans Day comes shortly after Election Day, because politicians we send to Washington, D.C., need to understand there is more to honoring those who have served our country than giving speeches and saying thanks.
The 13 percent of Americans who have served in the military to protect this country deserve to know that their country will take care of them when they return home.
Yet veterans benefits, including those for people who have been disabled in combat, have proven to be anything but sacred in recent years as Congress looks for money under every stone to fund record spending levels and tax cuts. It is an even greater insult that it has happened at a time when the country is at war.
Veterans who were willing to give their lives deserve better, and it is up to the new Congress to ensure that happens.
It is also up to those politicians to ensure our military is used wisely and given clear strategies, goals and definitions of victory when they are put in harms way. And it is up to us as voters to hold politicians accountable when that does not happen, which is one theory on why Tuesday’s results brought such radical changes to Congress.
It’s also up to us to never forget the sacrifices our veterans were willing to make, and for that we salute all of the schools who taught their students the meaning of Veterans Day.
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Tabitha Howk, a 13-year-old from Carson Middle School put it nicely after a class project to learn about Veterans Day and local veterans: “It was pretty neat learning about them. Not a lot of people have the courage to do that – fight in a war and not know if you’ll be alive the next day.”