Veteran title honor to hold

Clyde Davis

I placed it up there on Facebook and got some comments — many weren’t positive, considering what I put up wasn’t particularly contentious. It was simply a Veterans Day posting.

Whereas many say to the veteran,”Thank you for serving,” I thought it might make sense to say, at least from one veteran, “Thank you for allowing me to serve, to be honored by protecting the Constitution and the freedom it attempts to codify and guarantee.”

Veterans such as Richard Cullen and John Muir embody the best of what our country stands for.

The thanks is for the trust which most of the U.S. citizens put in our Armed Forces. Most of the men and women in uniform are ethical and dedicated, whatever their rank or specialization. Most people, in their contact with military persons, realize this and honor it.

The thanks is for allowing us to be part of the system which guarantees our freedoms. Only a thoughtless person could fail to recognize that there are issues to be tackled and problems to be solved in the U.S. However, anyone who has followed the record of the military in some of our neighboring countries could easily see that, at least until now, the ones in U.S. military uniforms have always been the servants, not the dictators, of the peoples’ voice.

It never hurts to remind ourselves that freedom is always, at any given time, only one generation away from extinction. That is not meant as an alarmist statement, but simple truth. I tend to believe that no country has ever knowingly said to a dictator “Come on in and destroy our lives.”

Subtlety, deceit and apathy are the needed ingredients.

The thanks is for the heritage which you have allowed us to claim, to appropriate, and to represent. At Washington, D.C.’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, members of the Army’s Third Infantry depict that history in the uniforms they choose to wear. If the names Bunker Hill, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Pork {Pok} Chop Hill, and Tet Offensive do not mean anything to you, it is probably a good time to renew your knowledge of history.

The thanks is for the tradition of citizen soldiers. The original vision called for a small cadre of professional military, and the bulk of our defense to be supplied by citizen soldiers. The reason for this had to do with an awareness, all too obvious, of what happens when military becomes a permanent subclass within society. The founding fathers had plenty of negative examples of this, and sought to avoid it.

The thanks is taking into account others in our society, true heroes who put their lives on the line every day— police officers, EMTs, firefighters, conservation officers, etc.

Whereby we stop once a year to especially honor veterans, we ought to often remember- perhaps daily- why they did what they did. Freedom is the result of involvement and awareness.