Sunday is Veterans Day, and again, we should all remember to honor the men and women who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces
President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919. It later became Veterans Day in 1954 and is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in honor of all our veterans.
It is obvious citizens are proud of our veterans across the Buffalo Island area. A committee in Leachville has created a beautiful Veteran's Park; Caraway has monuments erected in their park honoring service men and women, Manila has a military room in their museum, as well as other tributes in all of the BI towns. I was visiting with Lynn Haag, local historian in the Caraway area recently, and he has quite a collection of military history from the area. Local historian Donna Jackson of Manila is compiling a book featuring veterans from the Manila area.
The majority of us will never know what it is like to be in a war zone, but when our young men and women volunteer and join the military they are committing to go if and when they are needed.
At one time we had the draft and most answered the call when they were called up. It was around 1973 when the draft ended and our military became an all volunteer military again. I can remember many people who said we would not be able to keep enough numbers for an all volunteer military. We have been able to do so and as a matter of fact a few years ago numbers were being cut back.
We have heard a lot lately about the medical treatment and benefits for our military coming home injured and I hope our country will not get slack again on their care. I can understand sometimes when services have to be trimmed back a little but it should not happen at the expense of meeting the needs of those who went into combat for the rest of us.
Most of the Veterans I have interviewed or talked to through the years are quick to play down their hero role and quick to give praise to their fellow servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
All veterans deserve our respect and our gratitude for their service. If you know a veteran, don't forget to thank him/her. We may have different views on the conflicts (past and present) but we should share the pride in our veterans and military personnel. They are some of the best we have.
Throughout the area, there will be ceremonies, parades, and programs honoring our men and women who have served. I hope everyone can attend at least one of the programs to show our gratitude.
On another note, let's remember the families in the northeast who have lost loved ones and homes to Hurricane Sandy. So many are without power and fuel is running out in their local stations. We can briefly relate to being in the dark after the ice storm of 2009 but at least most of had roofs over our head.
We have many of our own area utility workers and disaster volunteers, who are leaving their homes and families to help restore power, feed the victims, clean up, rebuilt, and comfort. From what I have seen, it will be a long process.
Let's keep our veterans and our neighbors in our thoughts and prayers.