Honor veterans through action

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2020

We pay tribute on Nov. 11 each year to the millions who have served in the defense of our country. Veterans Day is a necessary time of reflection and showering of appreciation on those who have stood watch over and risked everything on behalf of our country.

It is also an annual reminder that we should keep up our end of the bargain by offering more than just “thank you” in exchange for their service.

One of the issues that doesn’t receive enough attention is the availability, quality and promptness of the care and support our country offers its veterans. It is easy to express admiration for those who have served, but much more attention is required. We have a relatively young generation of volunteer warriors who have been asked to sustain deployments that left them with scars deeper than skin and bone that will last a lifetime. We also have an aging legion of Vietnam veterans, many of whom have already been failed enough by the nation.

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We hope everyone spends some time today in quiet reflection on the sacrifices of our veterans and/or by attending a Veterans Day event to publicly tip our caps. One such ceremony is planned at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Isle of Wight Veterans Memorial, with a backup plan to move it indoors to the Smithfield Center in the case of rain, which looked likely at this writing.

From 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Westside Elementary School, 800 Main St. in Smithfield, will host a Veterans Appreciation Drive-thru. Veterans are encouraged to drive through the school’s driveway, where staff and students will be expressing their appreciation for services rendered by Isle of Wight’s military veterans. The gesture by these young people is heartwarming.

We can never do enough to honor those who served for this country, but we should never stop trying in tangible ways.