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Veterans Day: Some things stay the same: honor those who have served

HR News editorial

Take time out to honor our nation’s veterans on Tuesday.

There are 25 million veterans alive — about 10 percent of the overall population. They have served from Flanders to Falujah, and with soldiers dying each day in Iraq, the contribution of our veterans stands out as bright as a desert sun.

It is one thing to attend the annual ceremony at Overlook Memorial Park. Veterans will tell you that it means a great deal to see children attend. Not everyone can, but those who do are bound to witness a moving ceremony, one changed and updated from last year. It all starts at 11 a.m. at Second and State streets.

The American Legion continues another Veterans Day tradition with its 7 to 10 a.m. breakfast, but this year it will be at the Elks Lodge (details on page A2). The move across the street is necessary because the Legion sold its building this year.

It is gratifying to see the American Legion keeping up the good work despite leaving its home of 40 years. It is proof that good things can change but still stay the same. Legion has found the way to continue its contribution.

Even without a ceremony, breakfast or other event to attend, it is a simple matter to take a quiet moment to reflect on the cause of freedom and the recurring fight for liberty, or to say thank you to a veteran or a member of his or her family for their service to the country.

Another change to think about as we observe Veterans Day this year:

Since 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of U.S. military on active duty has been cut by one third, yet deployments have gone up 300 percent, according to the American Legion.

With the increased — call it pivotal — role of National Guard in the ongoing presence in Iraq, it is time to stop thinking of the Guard as mere “weekend warriors.” They have stepped to the front.

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