Each Nov. 11 we pause, reflect and give thanks to all of the men and women who’ve been brave enough to give their labor in the service of our great country.
There hasn’t been a single point in our history where our veterans have not answered the call. Countless times, from our own Revolution to the battles we fight today to keep our country safe, our finest men and women have risen to the occasion each and every time, often against nearly impossible odds.
They have done so, not for the glory of their legends being told or the impact that their actions had on the foundations of history, but a belief in the idea that our freedom is sacred and that a righteous justice for all is worth protecting.
So many have given their service, so many have given their lives, to provide for each of us the safety we need so we can focus on bettering our communities for our families and businesses to thrive.
There hasn’t been a single moment in our history where our veterans have let us down. They have made incredible sacrifices so that we all could lead better lives. And for so doing we owe them so very much more than just a day of parades, pageantry and pats on the back.
We owe them more than the divisiveness and shortsightedness that pervades our politics. We owe them more than a crippled government unable to pave its roads, provide clean water or even the basic kinds of care veterans need and deserve when they return from the respective hells we asked them to endure. And we absolutely, unquestionably owe them more than the denial of truth by politicians and citizens alike that is shaking the very foundations of our democracy.
Our veterans fought, too many died, not so that we could turn on each other, hating our neighbor for how they look or how they vote, but instead to use these precious and fleeting moments of peace and security provided to help build our neighbors up, help our businesses succeed and to protect our sacred vote.
It’s not just a responsibility we have, it’s a debt, to every man and woman who has ever put on the uniform, that we constantly strive to build upon the work of previous generations toward a more perfect union for all of us. Just as our veterans have never failed us, it is now on each of us, all of us, to rise to this occasion for them, to overcome the pettiness of our politics and to remember that our country is and always will be at its finest when we are all working together in common purpose.
As a veteran helicopter pilot in Vietnam myself, I will salute those I served with, those that served before me and those that are still protecting us today by doing all in my power to help better our communities in their honor.
Floyd L. Griffin