The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Editor's Noe - Nov. 14, 2019

More than just a day off


November 14, 2019 | View PDF

Veterans Day was this week. It was recognized with a parade in Bakersfield and a large crowd came out to honor the men and women who have served or currently serve in our branches of the military.

It is sad to see that more and more the holiday is celebrated for being a day off of school or work, or just one more day you don’t have to worry about getting that load of bills in the mail.

Well, when it was first started back in 1918, it stood for the end of World War I. It was a day to recognize that victory and celebrate the brave men who had served in the war.

A lot of people don’t even realize the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day; they just know both of them as time off. Memorial Day honors those men and women who served and are no longer living. Veterans Day honors all veterans – those living and dead.

My father-in-law was a veteran of the Korean War. He was wounded in action and received numerous medals for his service in the U.S. Army. My dad served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Japan when I was little. Growing up, we always had a great respect for the military and the men and women who serve in it.

I didn’t really know any other way until I grew older and found that there were plenty of people who were antimilitary. I couldn’t fathom how someone could be against the forces that help keep them out of harm’s way and maintain the freedoms they enjoy every day.

After 9/11, it seemed that patriotism was back at the forefront, at least for a time. We were all Americans, no matter our political affiliation, ethnicity or religious beliefs. We were together in a battle for our way of life that had been invaded like no other time in our history.

This unity dissipated as time went on; the shine wearing off of our newfound sword of strength.

Now, it seems that there are plenty of people who are again making their hateful voices heard. The military is attacked in the news, on our own soil, by the very people they have sworn to protect.

I believe everyone has a right to the freedom of speech, to say what they want – one of the rights that is fought for us to maintain. It is just sad that the very rights we have because of the brave men and women in the military enable some to tear them down. I love and respect our military and want to thank them for serving everyone in this country so bravely, even the ones who don’t appreciate the sacrifices made.

Jamie Stewart is editor of The Shafter Press. His opinions are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of the paper or its management.


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