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In Times of War and Peace

Veterans Day in Issaquah Highlands

Veterans Day 2016
In Times of War and Peace
by Dr. Paul Dean, Kirk Park

In a memorable scene from the riveting move, “A Few Good Men,” two lawyers are discussing the soldiers they are defending in a difficult case.

Lt. Weinberg: Why do you like them so much?

Galloway: Because they stand on a wall and say, “Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.”

Veterans day is a chance for us to thank our friends, family members, and neighbors for spending years of their lives watching over us while we go about our daily lives.

Holidays serve important purposes throughout the year. They give us opportunity to stop our normal routines and reflect on what is important. There are two major holidays in the United States that are set aside to honor, or thank members of the military, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Washington Post writer Valerie Strauss explains the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day:

“Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty.”

This year’s Veterans Day observance in the Issaquah Highlands will focus on unsung heroes. Most soldiers don’t consider themselves heroes. If you ask a veteran why they served you might get a shrug and a remark that, “I was privileged to serve my country.” When I’ve asked soldiers what they did in the military I often hear something like, “Oh, I didn’t do much, it was peacetime,” or “Nothing exciting, I was a cook.”

The truth is that, similar to civilian life, every job has intrinsic value. While exciting or dangerous jobs get more attention, each job in the armed forces has purpose and value. Imagine an army without cooks, truck drivers, or military police. Each job plays a vital role and would cripple the armed forces if removed, or if done poorly.

It is also important to thank Veterans who had the fortune of serving during peacetime. Strong armed forces in peacetime is a deterrent to enemies that might attack us. Therefore we both honor and thank veterans who sacrifice years of their life serving whether it was during war or peace.

Veterans who served during times of war or peace, and in various jobs in the armed forces, please join us on November 11th  as we observe Veterans Day. Those of you who would like to meet and thank your neighbors who served, please join us as well.

This Veterans Day, Friday, November 11 at 9:30 am, join us at Blakely Hall as we thank our veterans in a special ceremony. Big thanks to Boy Scout Troop #697, Girl Scout Troop #41754 and Cub Scout Pack #680 for their help this year.