Veterans Day: Why We Must Care
11/11/12 4:49 PM
By John Ebersole, Excelsior College President
This week I have had the opportunity to visit both the World War II Museum and the New Orleans Civil War Museum. Both offered graphic reminders of the idealism and pageantry which often precede war, as well as the horror and devastation which follow. If our idealism and patriotism, and that of the men and women who put on a uniform, is to have meaning, we need to believe that the service of our military, current and former, has value. Value worth fighting and dying for.
Veteran’s Day is more than just another holiday, a day-off to enjoy with family and friends. This day represents an opportunity for our nation to reflect on the contributions of those who have served. It is also a way to re-affirm, in a tangible way, that our society holds military service in a special light. At a time when few of our political representatives have had any military experience this is of growing importance. If we, as citizens, do not honor such service, and our elected leaders see no reason to serve, why should our young people step forward to defend and protect our country, its interests and its ideals?
Honoring our veterans, on Monday and the 364 days which follow is but one of the ways each of us can contribute to our nation’s defense. As I have shared in past messages, it was George Washington who noted that, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. “
In heeding these words, this Sunday presents each of us with an opportunity to contribute to our nation’s future defense. It also allows us to show appreciation for the sacrifices of those who protect such rights as those exercised on Tuesday.
Veterans Day Stories:
Veterans Deserve Support, Not Politics - Forbes
Veterans and Service Members Battle the Workforce - WTen Albany
Veterans the focus of Capital Region College Programs - Troy Record