By Rockland County Executive Ed Day
November is the month when Americans gather with family and friends, share a traditional meal and express gratitude for the good things in life. It is also the month when we set aside a day to celebrate those who have given so much in defense of our country: our military veterans. Without the liberty that these men and women have defended through the years, our citizens would not enjoy the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.
Rockland County has a proud legacy of military service that extends from the Revolutionary War to our current conflicts around the globe. Local residents of every background have always answered the call to defend America from those who seek to destroy the freedom that we cherish. I doubt there are many Rocklanders who do not have a family member or friend who has worn our nation’s uniform. Sadly, there are many residents who have lost loved ones in the defense of America, and their losses are felt every day.
As the son of a WW II sailor and the proud father of two sons who have or are serving in the Army, I understand the sacrifice made by the families and the ultimate sacrifice suffered by far too many. It is incumbent upon us all to assist our military men and women, not only during their active service, but also when they return home. Our veterans have offered all in service to protect our freedoms, and it is the right and proper thing to do to offer our support whenever they need it.
Veterans Day is a day in which we solemnly remember the individuals who laid down their lives for their country and those who served honorably. It is a day that helps us to understand that our freedoms and our prosperity are not an accident of nature, but the result of countless deliberate acts of courage by people who risked their lives and their livelihoods for the common good. Ultimately, Veterans Day serves as a reminder to us all to do our part to preserve and expand our freedoms and our values for future generations.
This time of year we pay special attention to all of the blessings of our life, not least of which is our freedom. We all know that there have been millions who have gone before us, and thousands serving us today, who have shed blood and sacrificed in defense of that liberty. We should not let this month pass without giving special thanks for the willingness of so many who sacrificed and put their country ahead of themselves.
This month, remember that the brave servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for our nation deserve our deepest respect and gratitude.