Appreciating Our Veterans

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Maggie Back, Staff Writer

November 11 calls for all U.S. citizens to honor the sacrifices made by the veterans of the armed forces. Veteran’s Day originated in 1918, following WWI, and was initially called Armistice Day. After WWII, Veteran’s Day was designated to recognize veterans of both world wars; thus, the name was changed for the first time. Starting in 1954, after the Korean War, the day was officially changed to “Veteran’s Day” to honor all American service members of all wars.

Veteran’s Day is an imperative holiday to celebrate, recognize, and express gratitude toward the people who carried and continue to carry the burden for our freedom. This day calls all U.S. citizens to remember the sacrifice that these people have made for us. It is only right to honor them for all they have done for us.

In addition to recognizing them, this day brings awareness to veterans’ lives after service. Unfortunately, there are many reasons veterans may struggle with re-acclimation following their service. For example, many veterans may struggle financially due to immediate unemployment, while others suffer under the crushing weight of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This mental illness affects many veterans that have witnessed or experienced traumatic events during their service. PTSD can post difficulties for veterans who wish to find jobs and return to their lives before their service. PTSD causes the “fight or flight” response to trigger in common events. Veterans with PTSD are often easily startled, regularly tense, suffer from nightmares, and more.

Veteran’s Day helps bring awareness to issues such as these, which is another reason why we must be particularly thankful for the veterans who carry so much weight to supply peace and freedom of the United States.

Veteran’s Day calls us to remember our history, to honor and respect both those who served recently and those who served long ago. This day asks us to consider what service means in our own lives.

How can you celebrate this coming November 11 to support our Veterans? Attend a parade. Take time to reflect in gratitude. Listen to a speech. Take flowers to a cemetery. If you happen to have a friend or relative who has served, you should truly take this day to thank and appreciate them for fighting for our freedom. If you meet a veteran be sure to say “Thank you for your service.” Ceremonies are held every year at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and floral tributes are placed on graves of servicemen and women and at memorials throughout the country. Saying a prayer is another common practice.

As United States citizens, it is our duty to take time to think, on November 11th and every day: what is the burden to pay for peace and freedom?