Honor our vets on Nov. 11

Jacksonville often is called a military town, and for good reason. The U.S. Navy is its largest employer, and the city has a major port and air station.

It also is a city with one of the largest populations of veterans. As of last year, 142,111 civilians living in the metro area had a background of military service

As such, Veterans Day has a special significance.

It is Nov. 11, the anniversary of the day an armistice was called ending the fighting in World War 1. It was celebrated annually and became a federal holiday in 1938, on the eve of yet another world war.

After World War II, when 16 million Americans served in uniform, President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 declared the holiday Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars. Eisenhower was one of 31 presidents who served in the military, and one of nine men to wear five stars.

Veterans Day often is confused with Memorial Day, a holiday specifically to remember those who were killed in war.

War, of course, is horrendous and no one wants to have one. College sophomores and liberals think themselves highly intellectual when they denounce war but it is a fact of life. When attacked, as the United States was on Dec. 7, 1941, there is no other alternative.

As a superpower, it is also incumbent upon the United States to help defend freedom and protect smaller nations from aggression by tyrannical regimes. That decision can be difficult and subject to debate.

But there should be no debate over honoring those who served their country.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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