Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day 2007

By Beacon Staff

On Monday November 12th, many of you will be off work because Congress felt that “real holidays” were inconvenient, so we have to move them all to the nearest Monday. Even tomorrow, it won’t be too late to thank a Vet.

Armistice Day 1918, eventually became Veterans Day, 11/11. It’s today, November 11 2007.

Google “11th month, 11th day, 11th hour” if you want more details.

It’s a day for Veterans and their families. Each of us, in one way or another, are their family.

Almost everyone knows someone who served or is serving now. A young Marine from Columbia Falls camped with me when he was a Scout. This year, he camped in Iraq. Another young Scout from Helena, now a Marine as well, is also stationed in Iraq.

It’s a day for Veterans to remember their friends, the ones that made it home and the ones who didn’t. For some, perhaps to remember the ugliness of war and pray that no one ever sees it again. For others, to remember what they did to protect their family and friends.

It’s a day for each of us to recognize and thank a Veteran in our own way, whether done privately, by visiting your local Vets home or VA hospital, or some other way.

It’s a day for each to privately consider what their sacrifices and efforts mean to us and our kids, as well as what they meant to our parents and grandparents.

When you are out and about, thank a Vet. But don’t just thank them with a smile, a kind word and a handshake or a pat on the back. Take a minute to stop by the Veterans Cemetery and thank those who rest in peace.

Think of the long term. Pay them back by doing something that recognizes what they have done for you.

  • Get involved in your community. Every community organization can use more help. They’ll be happy to tell you what kind of help they need. No matter how rich or poor, no matter how strong or weak, there is something you can do for your community.
  • Stand up for what you think. Thank a Vet by standing up and doing and saying what’s right. See something that isn’t? Thank a Vet by doing something about it. They fought or stood watch for your right to stand up for yourself.
  • Vote. Good men and women didn’t give their last breath so you could sit at home and watch Oprah instead of voting. Vote absentee if you have to. Perhaps you are disgusted with the political process, or feel that none of the candidates are worthy of your attention. Ever hear “Evil succeeds because good men do nothing.” Take it to heart. You might be right, but vote for what you can vote for. Write in. Improve the process. Find a candidate you can support. Don’t let someone else take away your right to be involved in the process. Veterans fought and died so you could help decide what happens in your community.
  • Meet a returning soldier at the airport when they return from active duty or go on leave.

Me? My thanks go out to:

  • John, who among other things, ejected at low altitude from a flaming F-4 when I was just a kid.
  • Chuck, who served in the Navy in the waters off Vietnam.
  • Bob, who served as an Air Force mechanic during the 50s-60s.
  • Larry, who served as a SAC mechanic during the 50s-60s.
  • Charles, a Marine nearing the end of his second tour of Iraq.
  • Paul, who among other things, served recently in Afghanistan.
  • Charles, who drove big trucks for the Army.
  • Fred, who served in the Army.
  • Tyler, a Marine stationed in Iraq.
  • Jim, who served with the Army in Vietnam, Germany and elsewhere.

Do something to earn what they’ve done for you.

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