Coincidence has been defined as God's way of remaining anonymous.
A gratifying coincidence occurred Monday when five area military veterans were honored while details were emerging about a surgical U.S. military operation that eliminated the "most-wanted" terrorist in the world.
The Mid-Missouri veterans were presented with the Silver Star for living with injuries or disabilities caused during service to their country.
Their injuries are as varied as their service, which spanned nearly 70 years and four wars.
The honorees are:
• Herbert Kuebler, Jefferson City, who served in World War II.
• Steven Amick, Jefferson City, who served in Vietnam.
• Tom Umstattd, Lohman, who also served in Vietnam.
• Lt. Col. Mike Fayette, Jefferson City, who served in Iraq.
• Maj. John Gillam, Jefferson City, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gillam commented on the Sunday military operation that killed Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"We have to continue our resolve," Gillam said. "And we have to make sure that we continue to fight until all of al-Qaida leadership, and al-Qaida itself, are destroyed."
Gov. Jay Nixon amplified the theme, referencing military members past and present when he said: "Certainly, the news once again demonstrates the resolve, the training and the courage of our armed forces."
Training and courage were personified Sunday by the U.S. Navy Seals who used ropes to drop from helicopters, stormed the compound, and shot and killed bin Laden and associates when they resisted.
The surgical strike was over within 40 minutes and no U.S. casualties were reported.
The Seals not only eliminated the terrorist leader, they seized a treasure trove of information - documents, hard drives and DVDs.
As U.S. intelligence officials analyze the data and learn more details about the workings of al-Qaida, we must intensify our resolve to ferret out and eliminate terrorism.
Enemy combatants, battle grounds and military strategies may change, but resolve remains a constant in the pursuit of justice.