In 10 years, tears have been shed and hearts have been broken as news of the casualties of the lengthy wars overseas have poured in. In Iraq and Afghanistan thousands of our brave men and women have given their lives to protect our freedoms and our homeland.
Solemnly and reverently, American citizens here at home have honored those soldiers, trusting in the guidance of our leaders and in the courage of our servicemen and servicewomen to protect our homes. For most, the war being fought thousands of miles away on the other side of the world has been a distant thought. So far removed from the actual conflict, many of us can do little more than pray that our fathers, brothers, sons, and friends make it home safely. This year, however, we have a chance to be the support our troops have needed us to be.
By the end of the year tens of thousands of our troops will step off of the battlefield and onto American soil. The very last American soldier will come home from Iraq, and our war there will have officially ended after 10 long years.
It is now, as those valiant soldiers begin their journeys home, that we as citizens must stand our tallest. Though economic hardship and uncertainty for the future may weigh down upon us, we owe it to those who have fought and died for us to be examples of freedom.
Less than a month ago, our nation’s president addressed us and said, “The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.”
Their heads will be held high, and when they come home to the American towns they love let us have our heads held high with our arms outstretched to receive them. We are proud of the jobs they have done and honored to have them represent our communities. Let us tell them how proud we are. Let our appreciation for their sacrifice be reflected in our eyes and in our words.
Is there a more appropriate way to honor our men and women in uniform than to come together as members of a community in a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood to welcome them back? Is there anything more patriotic than neighbors who share a love of one another as well as a love for their country?
We as Americans have a responsibility to our troops. We have been stewards over their homes and neighborhoods as they’ve been away to war. Now, as they return, we must give them our report. Our houses should be in order, our communities united, our hearts knit together.
Let us put aside contention, animosity, and hate. When our soldiers come home for the holidays let us be able to give them the support they’ve needed from us these past 10 years.
Today is Veteran’s Day, a day to remember and honor our brave soldiers. To do so we must also remember who we as citizens are and remember the importance of honor in our lives as well.
Let us be prepared to welcome our troops home.
Let us be the citizens they fought for.
by Spencer Healey – Editor in Chief