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  • Commander Jonathon Ralph

Veterans Day - Letter to the Editor

Veterans Day

Friday November 11th is Veterans Day. Although this is a federal government holiday, many companies do not include it on their normal list of holidays. But that does not mean it is not important.

Many people do not understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but there is a very big difference between the two holidays. On Memorial Day, we pause to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our country in the Armed Forces. But Veterans Day has a different focus, to honor all of those who have served in the Armed Forces. In simple terms, Veterans Day honors the men and women among us who have served in the military or are currently serving.

Serving in the military requires a sacrifice. Once a person enlists in the military they do not get some of the choices available in normal civilian life. We did not get to choose what to do, or where to live. And during time of war, we were not asked if we wanted to serve in a combat zone. The military doesn’t operate that way. The status of Veteran applies to all those who gave some of their life to the military, whether it was in war time or peace time.

There is a quote from an unknown author that identifies the commitment and sacrifice:

What is a Veteran? A “Veteran” – whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to, and including, their life.”

On this holiday, we should take a few moments to think of our freedoms and liberties that we all enjoy. And we should remember that it is the Veterans in the community who have given part of their lives to defend and protect those values. Remember that by serving, our Veterans were willing to put their life on the line to defend all of us.

Jon Ralph


American Legion Patchogue Post 269


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