Veterans Day is More Than just Celebrating a Day Off

By Keara Corby

Saturday, Nov. 11th, is a day to remember those who have served us. We like to appreciate those that served in World War I and World War II, in Korea, in Vietnam, and elsewhere. We want to be considerate of others who are students or a part of our staff and faculty that have family members whom this day is meant to honor. It is important to acknowledge what this day means and the purpose of it because of the impact that it has on our country.Veterans Day started off as a day to celebrate members of only World War I. Over time, other wars were added for remembrance of all the soldiers, and what the wars have accomplished.Keith Weaver, a retired member of the Navy, and uncle of Malone student Maddie Olsen, said, “The wars [were] very effective, and [they] have provided protection and freedom for our country.”It is also a day that is known as Remembrance Day in other countries. This is important because people tend to celebrate or hear about Veterans Day only in certain contexts.“Americans only remember the ones who are alive, and not the ones who are dead,” said Jay Case, professor of history. “They also don’t think about the other countries’ soldiers that we were in alliances with that helped us fight in wars. [Let’s] remember people who were willing to sacrifice their life for ours.”During many of these wars, people were selected involuntarily to serve. Citizens were drafted and didn’t have a choice to stay home or not. It is important to show respect to these people that didn’t have a choice.Keith Jeffers, Vietnam War veteran, and relative of Malone student Macy Hill, said, “Simply put, [it’s about] respect. Respect for those men and women – past, present, and future, who have dedicated their lives to preserve the rights and freedoms of all of the American people. One thing that really hurts me as a veteran is the lack of respect for the flag of our country. I would love to see all U.S. citizens pay respect to our flag anytime they see it and to be equally proud of what it means and what it stands for.”Jeffers brought up the fact that many are still either prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA) from previous wars. He then went on to say the importance of whole-hearted support for the men and women serving.“Some things I’d like people to know is that war is war. [It] needs to be fought by soldiers and needs to be supported by our government, our country, and directed by our military leaders,” Jeffers said. “From beans to bullets to a plan – our government needs to provide anything and everything to our armed forces so they can accomplish what it is they have to do. There has to be support in order to prevail. The lessons I have learned are that if you are going to have to fight a war, your government and the citizens of your country both need to [completely support you]. Together we can fight and win. Apart, we cannot accomplish our mission.”This Veterans Day, take the time to appreciate the men, women, races, and countries that have served to protect the rights that Americans so value.

 

LXIII Issue No. 6

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