By Dennis Richardson, Magic Valley Publishing
We honor those who have put their lives on the line in the armed forces to defend the U.S. Flag this week.
November 11 is annually observed as Veterans Day and although the celebrations are limited due to COVID-19, there will still be plenty of places honoring those who served us in the military along with those who are presently serving.
Nov. 11 was once known as Armistice Day, the official end of combat in World War I, — Nov 11, 1918.
It is a federal holiday as well as a bank holiday. The first world war officially ended a little less than a year later with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June, 1919.
Veterans Day has special meaning in our family. I am very proud to say that all three of our sons did what I never did: serve in the armed forces of the United States, including war time in the Gulf War.
Mark served in the U.S. Marine Corps and after his four-year enlistment he enlisted in the Tennessee Army National Guard.
Matthew served five years in the U.S. Navy and then four more years in the U.S. Army.
Daniel served a six-year enlistment in the U.S. Marines reserves and was called to active duty during the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Almost every family has one or more members who served in the armed forces. It is a big deal. I did not serve but came close during the Vietnam War. Lucky me was able to remain in college during the heat of the war and besides that, the powers that be drew a high number for my birthday in the birthday lottery. Believe me when I say my eyes were on each date drawn out. All the dates of the year were put into a big bingo-style drawing and pulled out one by one. My birthday was always in the 300s. I don’t believe the draft took anyone higher than the 200s. For the record, like almost all college guys at UT Martin, I took two years of mandatory Army ROTC, but that was nothing like actual military service.
I salute all our veterans. We enjoy freedoms to write columns like this one because of you. I stand for the National Anthem with my hand over my heart every time I attend an event where it is played and think of not only my three sons, but also all those who served and what that means to us. I think of PFC Burton who was one year ahead of me at Joelton High School who was killed in Vietnam within a year of graduation.
Always show appreciation to those who put their lives on the line every hour of every day to defend our freedom.
Freedom of the Press is one of the freedoms that I am happy is guaranteed. I hope and pray that we never lose that freedom, nor the freedom of religion and the right to bear arms, peaceably assemble, etc.
Speaking of freedom of the press, remember that life is better with a (local) newspaper.
Dennis Richardson is the CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, Inc., which owns the Chester County Independent