One day barely pays homage to

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 12, 1999

those who served, but it’s a start

Thursday, America saluted and appreciated one of its most important groups of people – veterans.

Most of us move through life never thinking about the things we have that can’t be touched, tasted, smelled or felt.

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Liberty and freedom aren’t material. They are subtle things that go unnoticed once one is accustomed to them. They don’t come to mind every day and they don’t show up on our wills when we move on to the beyond.

They are intangibles, but those intangible things are priceless to all of us.

Without thought, we get into our cars and drive anywhere we choose. Or we walk down the sidewalk unafraid to say what’s on our minds. We vote as we choose and popular demand dictates who will serve us.

And those who serve us are obliged to heed our suggestions and advice or risk not returning to their jobs once their term is expired.

All of these things are made possible due to the sacrifices of a few who were willing to serve many.

Lives were lost for it. People were imprisoned because of it. And they willingly made those sacrifices so their families, friends and millions of strangers could have that intangible thing we know as freedom.

Veterans of all of our wars and conflicts from the Revolution that gave us our first taste of independence to the latest skirmishes in Bosnia have shown the world what freedom and service to our country means to Americans.

Without their strength, heroism, selflessness and bravery, we would likely be like so many other countries in the world where protests are little more than hushed whispers and freedom means choosing what time you will eat or shower and little else.

The scarifices our veterans made – in blood and life – cannot be repaid by a day. Still, that day of recognition should make each of us reflect about the liberties we have and the sacrifices that were made so we could have them.

Thanks veterans for all you have done. We appreciate your service and commitment to this country and its people.

Nov. 12, 1999, 10 PM