Veterans deserve gratitude

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Gov. Bob Riley will stand on the Shelby County courthouse lawn Sunday as a guest speaker for the Veterans Day Ceremony and Tribute, sponsored by the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce.

Riley’s appearance in Columbiana coincides with the beginning of National Veterans Awareness Week, a time designated by Congress to emphasize the need for education concerning veterans’ contributions to our country.

Tens of millions of Americans have served in the U.S. armed forces during the past century.

Their contributions and sacrifices have helped secure the freedoms and way of life enjoyed daily by each American citizen. Veterans will certainly not be forgotten in schools across Shelby County next week as students will take part in veteran-related educational activities.

Thompson High School will even hold its own Veterans Day ceremony next Wednesday, put on by the Air Force Junior ROTC unit and student body. Such activities provide a valuable lesson for Shelby County’s students, serving as powerful reminders of the cost of freedom.

Unfortunately, not all citizens will witness an event as well-organized or with as much sensory impact as Thompson’s ceremony. Too many will simply acknowledge the holiday in passing and go about their daily routines without actually reflecting on the sacrifice of our veterans.

By taking just a few moments off to attend Veterans Day ceremonies at Thompson High School, the Shelby County courthouse or other venues, Shelby County residents can play a small part in honoring that sacrifice. A simple thanks for a magnificent favor