A Salute to Veterans By Allison Angle

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1 A Salute to Veterans By Allison Angle What comes to your mind when you think of Veterans? I think of everybody who served because the ones who did fight didn t have to. They didn t have to risk their lives to save us, their families, and our families, but they did. I would like to say two little words that mean a whole world of a difference, Thank You. Think for a moment what do these two little words really mean? They mean so many things to each and every person, but these two little words mean something totally different to so many people, people we call Veterans. To a Veteran these words mean Thank you for making us free. Everyone is grateful. Thank you for leaving your home and giving up your everyday life to fight for us even though you may not know us. You didn t have to. Thank you for letting our flag fly proudly. The color red stands for your courage and hardiness. White, for our purity and innocence, and finally blue, for what happened because of you perseverance and justice. All of our colors fly proudly because of you. We are free because of you. We are safe from harm because of you. We have freedom of religion, speech and race, because of you. We can choose our lives, because of you. Because of you we have so many rights, but only because you fought for us. Thank you for risking your lives to give us these rights. Because of you we can

2 choose what we want and where we want to go with our lives. As Elmer Davis once said, This nation will remain the land of the free only so as it is the home of the brave. Thank you; because of you, we are free. Freedom. It means a lot to each and every one of us. But, being the selfish people we are, we don t always understand that you, our Veterans, are what makes free. We are free because you being the brave, courageous, amazing people you are fought for us. And I am sure each and every one of us would like to say, Thank you, Veterans, for making us free. Now that you have thought, do you realize how powerful those two little words, Thank you really are? It doesn t hurt to say thank you to any one of our service men and women. Because those two little words, Thank you make a whole world of difference.

3 A Salute to Veterans By Anna Dunn Why do Americans celebrate Veterans Day? The answer is simple. A mass of people tested their bravery, honor, and lives, knowing it all may change. We use this one day to share a small portion of our thanks with America s veterans. Under any circumstances, we celebrate this day for the blessings we receive, for the sacrifices they made, and for the flag. We celebrate for the blessings. To be blessed means to be supremely favored or fortunate. The blessings Americans are granted have far more meaning than a dictionary definition. We don t stop and think about how fortunate we are often enough. As Americans, we have opportunities such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. We have freedom in many ways that most countries do not. How did we get to this place? Our veterans brought us here. We are blessed to have memorials such as the Statue of Liberty to look at and remind us that we are so very fortunate. To show that we are one nation united. To show that we are blessed. We celebrate for the sacrifices. To a child, war may seem like a fairytale, but in reality, it is not. There is not always a hero to pick you up, or an ending that is happy for everyone. You put your lives on the line so we may appreciate our own. I found this quote written

4 by Jose Narosky, and it reads, In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. This leads me to think that veterans made sacrifices, whether from a wound or a sight. Veterans Day gives America a chance to treasure what they have given up for us. The average person would not step forward and serve like our veterans. But, our heroes have courage and fought through the tears, the gains, and the losses. They sacrificed for us, so we celebrate for them. We celebrate the flag. To some people, the flag is seen as just a red, white, and blue piece of fabric. What it really shows is plenty more than that. It reminds me of the bravery, love, and honor a veteran must possess to fight for us. What was Betsy Ross thinking when she created the American flag? Did she know that we would look at it every morning when we said the pledge? Or that we would make it a priority to take off our hats and gaze in its direction before each sports game? The flag is a reflection of history regarding our country. Every battle won and every soldier that went to war, woven are woven and stitched into the very material of our flag, the flag that is celebrated on Veterans Day. In conclusion, Veterans Day is much more than just a date on the calendar. It represents how our veterans blessed us, made sacrifices for us, and gave us the flag. For those reasons, we celebrate the day for their bravery and love. So circle, highlight, and star that date, so we may thank our veterans. Our heroes.

5 A Salute to Veterans By Savanna Schaurer Sacrifice. What does this word mean to you? The definition of sacrifice is the destruction of something for the sake of something else. The freedoms we have today: speech, religion, voting rights, and a lot more, are here because of sacrifices made. Veterans made these sacrifices. They sacrificed normal lives. Everything familiar to them: homemade meals, a warm bed, comfy clothes, they left. They entered into a strange and unfamiliar world. Young soldiers experienced new smells, sights, and sounds. Not all of them were good. They all left families and friends behind. Their loved ones worried for them every day, praying for their safety. Veterans sacrificed a normal life so we can continue ours, in comfort, here. They also sacrificed emotional strength. Regular emotions and memories were replaced with fear, anxiety, worry, nightmare, and flashbacks from war. They saw and remembered things they cannot forget. With all of these new things crowding their minds, their lives were changed forever. Many of them developed a PTSD, or Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is when the soldiers became disturbed by events they saw or experienced. Veterans sacrificed their emotional strength so we could keep ours.

6 Mostly, they sacrificed their lives. A well-known phrase by an unknown author states that Freedom is not free. It basically says it all. These veterans knew they were going to risk their lives, and that they might not make it out of the battlefield. But they didn t give up or back down. Veterans paid the price of freedom, and sacrificed their lives, so we don t have to. Sacrifice. Without it, this country would not be the United States of America. It wouldn t carry a flag with fifty stars and thirteen stripes of red, white, and blue. Elmer Davis once said, This nation will remain the land of the free as long as it is the home of the brave. So, to our veterans, and to our soldiers today, thank you. Thank you for being brave and sacrificing for us to keep our country free.

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