Project: Reader Reaction
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked if Veterans Day has lost its meaning. Some responses:
“I have never known anyone who did not respect a man or woman in an American uniform, or who said anything disrespectful during a Veterans Day parade. I believe most adults, and most much younger citizens, realize that we live the good life in America because of our military strength.”
— Harold Burris, Clovis
“Veterans Day today is nothing but an off day for most workers within the government. The concern for veterans lacks support from Congress/Senate because all benefits are being stripped slowly but surely from those vets that need it most.
“Sure, there are a minority of people out there that want to remember the vets and show it by reducing prices for them, having free things (like movies and meals) for those in uniform and the vets, just to show their appreciation for keeping our nation strong and free. Smaller towns and cities really get into the spirit of Vets Day because the majority of people living there are vets who understand and appreciate all the folk do for them too.
“But the bigger cities lose this enthusiasm to support veterans and active military and just see this day as a day off from work. Plus most of those people don’t even care if we have a military or not. Like police, their importance is not realized until they are needed.
“Hope I didn’t get carried away here, but sometimes I just go on and on with a subject that means a lot to me. I happen to be one of those vets that is losing what was promised to me.”
— Gerald Majewski, Clovis
“As a veteran, I believe Veterans Day means more to us than anyone else.
“The following is part of an article published in the American Legion newsletter:”
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
— John Frey, Clovis
“Veterans Day and Memorial Day have both increased in observance and respect, but I don’t think it’s just because of 9/11 directly. It’s because of the leadership of President Bush, and his respect for the men and women in uniform.
“Since 9/11 he has had to call upon the military in the war against evil, and his strength of character and leadership shine to and through the actions of our military. We have a focus on what they are doing because of him. We care, and we respect the efforts that they are making.
“It’s a good thing to be able respect our military, and our nation, again.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis
“I don’t think Veterans Day has lost its meaning. However, I think many people still view it as just another day off. Here in Clovis us military people and our civilian counterparts are keenly aware of what Veterans Day is all about because we live the life every day. In my opinion, as you get farther and farther away from the military atmosphere you would see a more confused understanding and respect for Veterans Day.”
— Denver Jones, Clovis
“To forget your veterans, is to betray your nation. These brave men and women are the reason we enjoy the freedoms we have today.
“Veterans’ valiant efforts have allowed the likes of Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand to shout out their anti-American views without fear of reprisal. They’ve given hope to suffering people in third-world nations and provided humanitarian relief to some of the most impoverished nations across the globe. They’ve even secured the right of the people to protest and spit on returning servicemen who currently serve in the most thankless yet rewarding profession in existence.
“Veterans have built this great nation from the ground up and single-handedly created the greatest democracy the world has ever seen.”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis
“I really don’t think Veterans Day has lost its meaning. Lest we forget, all of the veterans organizations (VFW, American Legion, Elks, etc. here in Clovis, and all over the U.S.A.) do an excellent job of reminding us what this day is all about.
“Each year they hold a special event in honor of Veterans Day and this event is open to all the veterans. The Elks also hold a U.S. flag retirement ceremony in conjunction with this same event.
“Further, here in Clovis, we enjoy a large number of retired (and active) military families as part of our community. It’s impossible to forget Veterans Day and what it is all about. I personally, wherever I am, will stop and take a few moments of silent prayer at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as I too am a veteran.”
— Bob Baker, Clovis