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Veterans Day commemorates soldiers, sailors who sacrificed for U.S. freedom
What will you do in recognition of Veterans Day? Have you thought about the importance of veterans in our nation’s history?
If not for the sacrifices of veterans, would we be free to do as we choose this and every day?

Most who read this column are not veterans, but are beneficiaries of time spent by those who volunteered or were drafted into a branch of our country’s armed forces. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, falls on Sunday this year, resulting in remembrances organized on days before and after that date as well.

Many schools have scheduled sessions for community veterans either this Friday or next Monday. Veterans are invited to be introduced before assemblies of students, speak to classes and/or be hosted for recognitions of some type.

High school and elementary students benefit from veterans’ experiences, who often bring world history recollections down to the local level. Almost unbelievable sacrifices become real when heard from the very men and women who are students’ relatives or neighbors.

Students learn that folks they know have traveled far away for long periods to protect the freedoms they enjoy. 

As veterans recount suffering experiences of extreme heat and cold during treacherous battles, the educational process takes on a special meaning to the young people who may have earlier read such stories in their history books or seen them in video documentaries or movies.

Numerous churches will provide special recognition on Sunday for hometown veterans.

Often, the weekly sermon features some special story about our freedom of religion, and how the bravery of our soldiers, sailors and airmen have made it possible for people to worship as they please. Patriotic hymns are sung and veterans may be recognized as a group.

A number of communities host Veterans Day parades and/or ceremonies on the town square. Veterans’ groups frequently gather to share stories and remember friends lost in battle, or to injuries suffered during service to their country.

How do you plan to remember those who made countless sacrifices so we would all be free to speak, write, worship, vote, travel or work as we choose?

If you do not participate in one of the previously mentioned activities, why not spend time visiting at a VA Medical Center, pay your respects to veterans buried in a local cemetery or even read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States?

Maybe you have to harvest crops, feed livestock or work at another place of employment on Veteran’s Day. Appropriate alternative recognition might be flying your American flag at half mast, or experiencing a two-minute period of silence at 11 a.m., on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Veterans Day. Take time to thank a vet for all of our freedoms.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Roger Bender may write to him in care of this publication.