Our View: A salute to our veterans | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: A salute to our veterans

— They come from all walks of life, but they share a single, unmistakable bond: selfless service to our country. And for that, we owe them all a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Today is Veterans Day, a national holiday to remind us of the sacrifices made by the tens of millions of men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Sadly, we need to be reminded because it is all too easy to forget.

Let today, Nov. 11, 2009, the 91st anniversary of the signing of the armistice that brought an end to World War I, be the day you don't forget. There are reminders all around us, in the form of American flags waving from office buildings, schools and town halls, or represented in the freedoms we might take for granted. The most logical reminders, however, often are the least obvious.

There are 24 million military veterans living in America today, with an unknown number of them calling Routt County home. But without a uniform or specialized license plate to call attention to their service, they blend in with the rest of us. Veterans Day is an opportunity to ask your coworkers, neighbors, friends and strangers whether they served in the military. If the answer is yes, thank them for their sacrifice and let them know how much it's appreciated.

We've come full circle as a nation in terms of our recognition of servicemen and servicewomen, from the ticker tape parades of World War I and World War II to the hostilities and resentment of the Vietnam War era to the support-the-troops mentality of today that transcends political views and parties. And that's as it should be. The men and women who serve in the military do so out of duty to the country, and they serve at the behest of the president of the United States and their military commanders. How we feel about the decisions made by our elected officials should never be reflected in our treatment of service members.

As the holiday season nears and our nation continues to have a military presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and at many other overseas bases, please consider what you can do to recognize and thank our military personnel. Care packages are a wonderful option, but even a handwritten card or a photo of home can go an unbelievably long way toward bringing a little piece of home to Americans living in foreign lands. The Steamboat Pilot & Today will provide details on local support the troops care package efforts as the holiday season draws closer.

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Finally, we leave you with a poignant reminder of those Routt County residents who made the ultimate sacrifice to their country. Below are the names of the local men and women who gave their lives in combat on foreign soil. They are heroes, and they — like all veterans — deserve our unwavering support and gratitude.

World War I

John H. Bird, Willard L. Brown, Charles F. Baer, Lloyd M. Dobson, Raymond R. Getsinger, Wesley E. Getsinger, Dr. Robert Gilmore, Ben J. Hostetter, Leo J. Hill, George Klumker, George L. Lawson, William H. Long, Clayton Lewis, Ralph M. Mabee, Marcy M. Meaden, James E. Noyce, William C. Reed, Chester B. Reise, Edward A. Schrupp, Zetto D. Stoddard, Guy L. Utter, Raymond C. Whitmer

World War II

Joseph D. Allee, William R. Anderson, Lee P. Carnahan, Kenneth M. Carroll Jr., Charles J. Cruse, Leonard J. Cook, Peter S. Colt, Michael W. Dorr, William F. Daugherty, John H. Geer, John H. Gonzales, Walter L. Gibson, James T. Hageman, Clovis F. Harper, Rito Hernandez, Ralph L. Johnson, Walter E. Law Jr., George C. Osborn, Jesse Robertson, Kenneth K. Shibata, Bernard S. Shubring, Neil Taylor, Mike J. Vasquez, Clarence E. Williams

Korean War

Paul Demerest, Ben Ehle Jr., Frank Finch, Leonard Officer

Vietnam War

David Fogg, John Viapondo

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Mark Lawton

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