Veterans Day Through The Eyes of A Local Veteran

Honoring all who served.
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CHARLOTTE – Veterans Day is a special day on the calendar that honors all veterans who have served in our armed forces during wartime and when the nation is at peace, always defending our freedoms and honoring the sacrifice of others before them, including those who serve to protect us at home and around the globe today.

America remains and will hopefully always be the shining light on the hill. We became the greatest nation on earth from our foundings through the Constitution; the Bill of Rights; and conflicts which include the American Revolution, War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War,  WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lebanon, Granada, Panama, Gulf War, and the Global War on Terror.

Old Glory and the USMC flag.

Veterans took an oath, and they will always live up to its meaning and obligation. When drafted or enlisted, an individual must raise their right hand and repeat the Military Oath of Enlistment.  “I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the president of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed . . . So Help me God.”  This commitment does not expire even when honorably discharged from the military.

To all veterans, this oath has true meaning; it becomes part of who we are, how we pursue our dreams and aspirations in life living in a free society where all have an opportunity to pursue the American dream. Those who enlisted and all who served fully understand what it means to be free, as freedom does not come without sacrifice, and it certainly must be defended by those who are willing to put their beliefs and lives on the line for others to enjoy these freedoms. After all, life in many respects is about the choices we all make.

November 11 is an important day to honor the men and women who serve our country so American citizens can enjoy their freedoms. Behind each veteran, there are family members who also make a huge sacrifice while their loved one serves our country. It’s about real people who protect and honor our precious freedoms each and every day. They are spouses, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, friends, neighbors, cousins, and co-workers. Veterans and those serving today are brave, honorable, dedicated, patriotic, and altruistic patriots in the U.S. military who believe in something greater than themselves. They also have a love of country and embrace the brotherhood and sisterhood that it creates like no other endeavor they will experience in this life. The bond is unbreakable, and one is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary to protect the person beside them.

U.S. Army parachutes into local high school football stadium.

This writer in previous articles has written about the history of Veterans Day. However, this year I wanted the reader to obtain a different perspective of the meaning of this special day from a veteran’s point of view. I hope this quest was successful in accomplishing this important mission.

Veterans Day is a day of reflection, a time of remembrance with breakfasts, ceremonies, parades, roll calls, and moments of silence for the fallen, but most of all to honor all those who have served our nation honorably whether for a brief time or as a career. It takes a special kind of individual to answer the call to duty; not everyone can or wants to make the mental, physical and emotional challenge military service mandates.

Therefore, we honor all those who have served our great nation. This includes both the deceased and the living. This day is largely for the living veterans and their families, to thank them for their service, devotion, and sacrifice, from a grateful nation.

Veterans fully understand that freedom is not free; it will come at a very high price for all to see. To all our veterans who have served, “All Gave Some, and Some Gave Everything.”

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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