Editorial: Gratitude for veterans should transcend holiday

Photo+by+Emmalene+Oysti

Photo by Emmalene Oysti

North Wind Staff

Across the nation, the American population comes together each year  on the 11th day of the 11th month to honor and commemorate those who serve and have served. We hang our flags high, attend veterans’ celebrations and say thank you to those who have taken a part in the fight for our nation.

We at The North Wind would like to remind you that the military is ubiquitous to the culture and identity of the United States, so the respect and expression of gratitude for these selfless heroes of the past and present must remain constant 365 days per year.

As life persists, it is easy to forget about those who have made and continue to keep our lives carefree and it’s hard to even begin to imagine their sacrifices, especially for the current generation.

At one point, those of age were not given a choice between pursuing an education or the armed forces, making it difficult to empathize with the sacrifices that have been made.

Many soldiers don’t return home and often those who do don’t return the same. Whether it be the death of a comrade or an atrocious sight, the memories, experiences and trauma experienced by those who have served often goes unseen. The weight of the war is carried upon their shoulders every day.

Let us not forget each day those who are currently serving, those who didn’t come home, those fortunate enough to return home and even the families that stayed at home.

Each time a service member leaves for the fight there is a family left without a member on the homefront. Spouses go without their significant others, children go without a parent—all so our nation can have those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice at the forefront.

Our veterans and active members may be far off at times, but they are also the friends, peers and fellow students we pass on the streets, each day.

Take a moment out of your day to reflect upon the sacrifices made, buy a beer for the person in uniform at the restaurant and say thank you to the person passing on the street with the military insignia. We may have a day dedicated to our veterans, but a war is not won in a day.