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Nov. 11, 1999

Veterans Day a chance to honor 'real' American heroes

Today our nation celebrates Veteran's Day. This is a chance to honor men and women who have stood up to defend America and other nations from tyranny, bigotry, hatred and political evils.

Many of us do not come from military backgrounds or families, and consequently do not understand or recognize the significance of this day.

But nearly every decade since the turn of the century has seen war, and the ones who left to fight were most often young people -- people our age. These citizens gave up their dreams to ensure that the dreams of others could continue, and grow to build the great nation we have.

The Air Force also celebrates an anniversary this year. This branch of the military, since its birth after World War II, has been a blessing to the nation's forces through the years following.

Wednesday, the campus Air Force ROTC stood at the flag in front of Pat Neff Hall, holding a vigil for all prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

Take a moment today, and this homecoming weekend, to remember every person who has faced or someday may face war. They are the heroes of our country and deserve to be honored for their loyalty to the place we call home (a place we so often take for granted), and for their staunch determination to defend the freedoms we enjoy every day.

One concrete way to honor the memories of soldiers is to support the WWII Memorial Fund.

From a war that left such an enormous and lasting impact, and for the people who gave time, effort, and life to fight in it, this memorial is a long time coming