In our community, there is no lack of military appreciation. You see it everywhere. We are a community filled with veterans, retirees, active-duty and reservists. At night we are often lulled to sleep by the sounds of freedom; a C-130 circling overhead, CV-22s flying low and even the sound of gunship fire in the distance. And yes, some are louder than others. We often find ourselves missing those sounds when we visit other places remarking with a scrunched face, “it’s so quiet here at night.” Those sounds, these veterans and our military bases have been part of the fabric of us, and the American flags we fly, for decades. Newcomers to Navarre are taken aback, then they eventually see it the way we do. Those are our men and women – generations worth of our neighbors, our friends staying prepared to defend our country and the freedom of us and others willingly and without a second thought.
According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 20 million veterans in the United States. They have fought wars. Some have laid next to their dying comrades in the field. Some were wounded physically. Others wounded invisibly. Some were welcomed home with parades and confetti. Others were not. Not all wars have been equal, but all have been fought by brave, honorable, patriotic veterans.
Nov. 11 has been set aside to honor our veterans and show our appreciation for those who have served. Navarre will do so on that day at 11 a.m. at Navarre Park with a ceremony. We are hopeful the entire park will be filled with people showing their appreciation for veterans in attendance. What are some ways you can honor a veteran?
- If you see a veteran at a restaurant, pay for their lunch or dinner.
- Just say, “thank you for your service”
- Fly the American flag outside your home
- Donate to a nonprofit organization that benefits veterans
- Attend the ceremony in Navarre Park
- Volunteer for a service project helping veterans
Why should you thank a veteran? We are thankful for the sacrifice they and their families have made, living and working through many deployments and war zones, only to have to readjust their life after every departure and homecoming. We thank them for setting an example of character and integrity for all to follow. We are grateful they are willing to walk into the line of fire to protect our rights and freedoms – we can worship, pray, vote, think and express ourselves freely thanks to them. They are our youth coaches, mentors, PTA members, church leaders and volunteers. We honor them for being the best and bravest among us.
Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States from 1923-1929, said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”
Navarre won’t forget, we will honor our veterans every day, not just Nov. 11.
As seen in the Nov. 7 issue of Navarre Press.
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