If ever there was a time for America to honor those who have served as her protectors, this is the year. Monday is Veterans Day, and it is more than just an occasion to wave flags: It is a time to count the blessings of a nation at war, and to thank the men and women who continue to battle on our comfortable behalf.
Why do they fight? Well, most soldiers do so because its their job. Like the firefighters who battle blazes and the police officers who lock up bad guys, soldiers have a profession that requires them to do dirty work so the majority of citizens dont have to.
That frees up those citizens to work at other, safer jobs, to go to a restaurant or a movie when they want to, to raise their children in peace.
More than just a philosophical concept, freedom is a rock-bottom value that makes the rest of our lives possible. Without freedom there would be no choice in worship, or the ability to sound off in a letter to the editor, or open elections of voluntary candidates.
And without the sacrifices of our veterans, we wouldnt have the freedom that guarantees the American lifestyle that gives hope to those soldiers now engaging an enemy abroad.
It is partly in celebration of those veterans that the volunteers who have organized the Grovetown Museum are creating an exhibit depicting the history of Fort Gordon and its relationship to our area.
Jump-started with a grant from the Fort Gordon Officers Wives Club, the exhibit currently features a modest amount of memorabilia from local residents or family members of those who have served at Fort Gordon or its World War II predecessor, Camp Gordon.
The setting is highly appropriate: Not only does Grovetown owe much of its growth and success to Fort Gordon, but also the citys mayor, Dennis Trudeau, is himself a genuine war hero and veteran. In fact, Trudeau is one of the few local public officials to have served in the military.
Columbia County Commissioner Jim Whitehead, a true flag-waving patriot, never fails to disguise his high regard for veterans; he is fond of expressing his gratitude for those who served so he didnt have to.
All Americans safe in their homes because of soldiers serving at home and abroad, and because of the emergency personnel whose task is homeland defense, salute our veterans this week. Our gratitude, freely given, is a bare down payment for the service they have rendered, and for the service their successors continue to give.
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