By PRITHI SRINIVASAN
This past Veterans Day, Nov. 11, was not only a reminder to honor veterans and the sacrifices they have made, but also the centennial of the end of World War I. The dual significance of this occasion made it especially important to thank those who fought to protect the American values of freedom and individualism.
“Veterans volunteer to do something most people wouldn’t do: to stand up for democracy, and for what they believe in,” said theater teacher Doug Eivers.
Veterans Day is a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives and their families in war and for those who dedicated a portion of their lives to military service. They have put their lives on the line, having to conquer the trepidations of war, to defend our national rights and values. While it is a day to show respect for current and former servicemen, Veterans Day is also a day to consider how the brave individuals in the armed forces contribute to our daily lives.
“Veterans inspire me by making me think about what I believe in, what I stand up for, and how much I am really willing to sacrifice,” Eivers said.
Sacrifices are made every day by military personnel and their families. Veterans were willing to put themselves in danger to protect their families and the future of the country. Being away from their loved ones for so long and having to constantly move, military families sacrifice a great deal as well.
Freshman Sania Choudhary has met several veterans who have detailed what they have given up due to their valiant service.
“The veterans could have been spending their lives at home, with the people they love, rather than serving. Their families can also lose a member, sometimes permanently. When these people return from war, they don’t see things the same,” Choudhary explained.
Though the holiday only commemorates members of the United States Armed Forces, all people of service can and should be honored throughout the year.
Freshman Riya Charora’s grandfather was an Honorable Flying Officer in the Indian Air Force. She recalled stories told by her mother about life in a military family.
“I am extremely grateful for the sacrifices they have had to make to protect the future of their country, and for their families who constantly have to worry whether their child is alive or not,” Charora said.
While not necessarily in service anymore, veterans have been shaped greatly by their ordeals. One can venerate them for their service with a simple “thank you for your service”. One can also show appreciation by writing a service member a letter, attending a Veterans Day event, or flying the American flag at half-mast. We often take for granted how veterans and current military personnel have directly impacted our lives and how much we owe them for their sacrifices.
“I have many friends who are military personnel,” Eivers said. “They are some of the best people I know: honorable, upstanding individuals. I thank them greatly for serving our country.”