The following column by State Representative Marlene Anielski was submitted by her office to Patch:
Honoring Our Veterans
November 11th is a date steeped in historical significance, not just in America, but throughout the world. On this day 93 years ago, the World War I Allies and Germany signed an armistice, signaling the end of fighting on the Western front. In many countries, this date is now celebrated as Armistice Day to honor those who fought in World War I. Here in the United States, the holiday was renamed “Veterans Day” in 1954 to pay tribute to every American who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout history.
Since then, Veterans Day has become a yearly reminder of all that our military vets have sacrificed to keep us safe. These brave individuals stood up to protect our country in times of peace and unrest, from Pearl Harbor to the deserts of Afghanistan. They fought to protect the American people, as well as the democratic virtues that make up the fabric of our nation. No one knows the price of freedom quite like a veteran, and though we may not realize it, we owe ours to them.
While we can never repay our veterans, we can always show our support of them. It doesn’t take a huge gesture to communicate our gratitude. Attending a community event honoring veterans or visiting a war memorial is enough to signal that we do not take their service for granted. On the state level, the General Assembly annually honors Ohioans fallen in the line of duty with the Ohio Medal of Distinction. This month, on November 29th, the legislature will officially honor 35 medal recipients and their families.
Long after Veterans Day has come and gone, there will still be opportunities to keep the sentiment alive. Since the Revolutionary War, the U.S. military has fought to preserve our personal freedoms and civil rights. Acts as simple as volunteering or voting can demonstrate our community commitment and civic involvement. Our fellow countrymen and women have fought long and hard to give us the independence that we have today. So it is only fitting that when you see a veteran, retired or in uniform, to personally thank them for their personal sacrifices in allowing us to enjoy our freedoms.
Most of all, I hope that Veterans Day is a time of reflection for you and your family. We truly live in a great nation whose very existence has depended on the efforts of all our veterans. Please join me in honoring them this November.