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OUR OPINION: Military veterans united by common bond

On Veterans Day, we journalists thank our veterans for preserving our freedoms, including freedom of the press.

We are ever-grateful for the ability to practice our profession, unfettered by the tyranny oppressing other nations.

Among the freedoms defended by service members, ironically, is the freedom to criticize the military’s commander in chief.

We and our readers may fault, publicly, decisions and actions by our president and elected representatives. Conversely, we also are free to praise — based on sincerity, not coercion.

Veterans Day offers an opportunity not only to express appreciation, but to celebrate the common bond uniting the diverse military members who have served throughout our nation’s history.

Diversity includes gender, race, age and other individual attributes that are addressed elsewhere on this page by American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster. But diversity also includes the unique circumstances and experiences of each military veteran. Military preparedness and warfare have evolved over the years. Battlefields vary — from trenches to foxholes; forests to jungles; deserts to mountains. And the enemy, once distinguished by an identifying uniform, now may be a faceless terrorist detonating a bomb on a roadside or aboard an aircraft. What haven’t changed are the qualities of our military men and women.

They include:

  • Sacrifice: Deployment means separation from the love and warmth of family and friends, the comforts of home and the security of day-to-day work.

  • Teamwork: Military service requires working as a unit, obeying orders and/or giving orders, depending on the assigned role.

  • Courage: Service members must be valiant amid the unknown. They must remain resilient while confronting hostility under extraordinary circumstances in a strange land.

The freedoms we enjoy endure because service members stepped forward to protect and preserve them.

On Veterans Day and every day, we encourage our readers to join us in honoring and saluting our military veterans.

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