Veterans due a special debt of gratitude

Those of us who have not served, but who work hard to make a living for ourselves and a better future for our children, owe a special debt of gratitude to veterans, many of whom deferred their own career dreams in order to answer a higher calling.

By

Opinion

November 11, 2020 - 9:47 AM

Flags and photographs of service members are displayed at the Allen County Veterans Memorial on the square today in honor of Veterans Day. The Veterans Committee, which canceled the annual veterans celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic, wanted to find an alternate way to recognize veterans. More than 150 photographs are shown on a television in one of the panels, and others are used to display more photos. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

U.S. troops used to return from foreign wars to ticker-tape parades and joyous celebrations. That’s how it was in November 1918, when much of the world cheered the end of World War I. One year later, on Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation celebrating Armistice Day, which in 1938 became a legal holiday.

Now, 102 years after the end of the “war to end all wars,” ticker-tape parades are generally reserved for sports championships, when a city celebrates winning a Super Bowl, Stanley Cup or other title.

On this Veterans Day, even the more modest parades usually held to salute our former troops will be sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, our veterans deserve more than a free meal at a national restaurant chain or a few obligatory “thank you for your service” greetings as they walk down the street.

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