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Veterans due our respect

November 10, 2012

One of the more poignant images from this campaign season was a long row of gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery, with the notation that a long line at the polls should be of comparatively little inconvenience.

We agree with that sentiment, and remember this Veterans Day the men and women who through the years have ensured our freedoms at the ballot box and elsewhere. And we thank those organizations in the community that have steadfastly spread the story of our veterans, and appropriately honored their service.

It is, of course, impossible to overstate the service that our veterans have given both to our country and to us as individuals. Every day, tens of thousands of people go to work in our defense. They protect us personally and they protect us in spirit as well, as we enjoy the freedoms and rights to which we have become accustomed.

In this age of polarization, it might also be proper to note that our soldiers do not ask whether we are Democrat or Republican, whether we chart a liberal or conservative course.

Soldiers don’t ask our race, religion or creed. They protect us as one, and they protect us no matter what.

This is something we should be mindful of each and every day — that despite our differences, we are all Americans, we are ultimately on the same side.

And just as our military men and women support us, we should support our men and women in uniform. This means that we celebrate when they come home from places far away. It means that we welcome them back into normal life, and go out of our way to offer thanks and comfort and, if it is within our power, to offer them work and a chance to begin a long, productive and happy life.

War is traumatic. Service is stressful. And although it seems a small reward in comparison, we keep veterans in our thoughts and prayers this day and all days. We thank them for keeping watch over our freedoms, our way of life and the ones we love. And we will never forget.

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