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EDITORIAL:Honor our veterans today and every day

November 11, 2006

It is especially important in these days of war to remember and offer our respect to veterans who served in our nation's battles.

Honoring them, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice, is one constant we can hope to agree on in a country again divided by a war.

As Abraham Lincoln said in his address at Gettysburg, we can't say anything or bestow any honor that would match the sacrifice that our nation's service men and women have offered for freedom and peace. But we can humbly strive for the values they fought for, and fight for, and remember them, even in times likes these.

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Tuesday's election was an example of that striving. In one way, we were free to exercise a vital right, which our military has been so vital in protecting. And in using that right we honor those who have sacrificed themselves to defend it. After so much scandal in recent months, and the barrage of political ads, today is a day to refocus — to remember and honor the sacrifice of our nation's troops, and their humanity.

In this time of war, it may be easy to forget, or even turn away from, the people who are truly in the middle of it: soldiers, who must face the reality that just waking up is a sacrifice in a land where suicide bombers, ambushes, kidnappings, and an enemy who fights unlike those faced by veterans of past wars, are everyday facts of life.

Today, Veterans Day, is a day to keep them in our thoughts, no matter what we think of the decisions that sent them to fight.

Let's hope today's troops soon see a day when they can put away their guns and come home. And when they do, we need to embrace them with respect for what they've given.

Let's hope that day will be a sobering but great day — a day of peace.

Veterans Day, after all, is rooted in peace. It stemmed from the armistice that was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, ending World War I. That day, when they come home, will truly be a Veterans Day for new generations, and one in which we can celebrate their sacrifice and peace. It's a day worth striving for.

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