A unique Veterans Day
The Lakeville Journal Editorial
This year’s ceremonies marking Veterans Day will be poignant and powerful, as is the case each year at this time of commemoration of the sacrifices and courage of our nation’s veterans of war. November 11 at 11 a.m. is the time for such remembrances, when the armistice for World War I went into effect in 1918. But what is unique about this year? Besides having the chance to do more in-person ceremonies than in 2020 due to high vaccination rates for the coronavirus, this year will be the first in 20 years when our troops aren’t deployed in Afghanistan, or engaged in a ground war in any location.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many in the military serving across the globe as well as on American soil, of course. And it doesn’t mean those serving aren’t in danger of injury or death in the course of doing their duty to serve their country. But it does mean that at least in Afghanistan Americans should no longer be an active part of the ongoing battle.
While there are many criticisms of the method of pulling troops out of that 20-year action, there can be no simple way to end such a longterm deployment. Those who served multiple tours in Afghanistan have been freed of that cycle, and some are rotating out of the military now.
Many of those who served there are recovering from all kinds of injuries as a result of their service in combat and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. While those who have not served in combat cannot fully understand what they are dealing with, all of us can offer support and listen when they tell us what they experienced, and what might help them move forward now. To find more ways to help wounded veterans in need of some support, go to www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
No matter the political side of ending a war, those who fought it deserve only the utmost respect of their fellow citizens and a helping hand whenever it’s needed for them to assimilate back into society at home. All those who engage these veterans need to remember the many skills and experiences they bring with them into civilian life, and think about hiring them and bringing them into social groups that will offer ongoing support.
Thank you to all veterans of war, and their families, who sacrificed their personal peace to benefit their country and their world. This is the week to remember them, their service, and their courage, and continue to welcome them back to everyday life with the same respect and gratitude shown during the solemn commemorations on Veterans Day.
A tragedy next door
Our hearts are with our neighbors in Millerton, who suffered a devastating loss over the weekend in a house fire that took the lives of two residents and displaced and injured others. (See story, here, by Millerton News Reporter Kaitlin Lyle.) Lakeville, Sharon and Falls Village mobilized to help at the scene and other companies were on call as well.
When such a lethal fire happens, all the volunteer firefighters in the region become as one, cooperating and offering support across town and state lines for the best outcome possible. All of those responders acted bravely and selflessly. They will feel the effects of this fire for some time.
But most affected are the loved ones of those who died and those who were in or close to the houses that burned. Deepest condolences to all those who suffered the tragic losses on Saturday morning.