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Veterans' spirit of service and sacrifice is sacred

Greetings! Veterans Day, a federal holiday, occurs this Sunday, November 11. Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, we observe it on Monday, November 12.

What is Veterans Day? It is a special day to honor and thank those who are serving or have served in the military. Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day, which is a day to remember members of the military who lost their lives in service to their country. Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the agreement that ended World War I on November 11, 1918, this holiday became known as Veterans Day in 1954.

Given that our school namesake, Father Thomas Scecina, was a humble and valiant chaplain in the U.S. Army during World War II, it is fitting that we extend a special thank you on Veterans Day to all living men and women in our military services. I especially thank those among our friends, alumni, and staff who are veterans, including Spanish teacher Nancy Greathouse, who served in the U.S. Army, and social studies teacher Jeff Getty, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Your spirit of service and sacrifice is sacred. 

What can you and I do to celebrate Veterans Day? Here are some ideas: Genuinely say “Thank you for your service” to a member of the military. E-mail it or text it, if you must. Saying it in person or over the phone may be even better. Pray for the safety and safe return of a military member. Ask a veteran about her or his service and really listen. Display the American flag. Write a note or letter to convey your appreciation. Visit a VA (Veterans Administration) hospital. Attend a Veterans Day parade.

As Veterans Day gives way to Thanksgiving and the rest of the year, what can we do to live the spirit of Veterans Day? Along with almost any of the preceding ideas, we can imitate our military members’ virtues of duty, integrity, service, and sacrifice in our daily routines and relationships. We can allow their service and sacrifice to inspire our lives of appreciation.

Members of the military services, we thank you!

Joe Therber