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Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 27, 2010

Yesterday, we watched the memorial service for thirteen men and women who served and died in the worst case of domestic terrorism since 9/11.

Today, we celebrate their lives and those of all who serve and protect America, expressing our humble gratitude, which is for most of us deeply and heartfelt.

Many Americans have no idea what service to this nation costs those individuals who provide it.  In part, that’s a shame because to fully understand is to fully appreciate.  In part, that is a testament to how well our military does its job.

Because they are steadfast, dependable, brave and courageous.  Because they endure and provide an environment where we can go about our daily lives, we can see “on the street” interviews where only 34% knew the name of our Vice President and not one knew the name of the Speaker of the House.

Were our society forced to focus intently on staying alive, on asserting any right to exist much less choose and speak freely, that would not be the case.  Because of the service and protection of others, the public is allowed the luxury of ignorance.

I’m not advocating ignorance.  It’s appalling and disgraceful to be so disconnected and unaware and speaks volumes on the need for civics education and U.S. History being granted more importance and significance in schools, studies and in daily life.  But that some can choose, have the choice to be ignorant is worthy of note.

Today, however, is not the day for that battle.  Today is the day to remember our veterans, to be grateful to them for the freedom they provide to us and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make on our behalf and on the behalf of others.

When the call comes, our military answers.  It does so because the people in it believe in something greater than themselves.  They believe in the values and ideals America embraces.  They believe in America, and in Americans.

Today we honor them, and this American wants all vets to know that she believes in them.  And she is grateful.

God bless and keep you safe.



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