Thankful? Show it

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day is here — a good reminder for all Americans to thank a military veteran who has selflessly served his or her country.

Our veterans groups have been proud community members and good neighbors for many, many years.

Yes, we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Yes, their ceremonies on days like these swell hearts with patriotic pride and remind us how great their sacrifices have been for our freedoms.

A nod, handshake, or simple “thank you” is the least we can do to acknowledge that service.

But why not go a step beyond this year?

Veterans groups in the area support community programs here that help all citizens, not just soldiers, sailors and the like.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4411 proudly sponsors many Boy Scouts efforts. The national group’s essay contests annually provide millions in scholarships. Cooking events, bake sales and auctions help raise money for other projects as well.

The American Legion, too, is an honorable fellow citizen, holding fish fries and other fundraisers for good causes. The Legion’s preamble to its own constitution includes the words “devotion to mutual helpfulness.” That mantra can be found throughout its good deeds, both nationally and at a local level.

Please do stop to thank a veteran today. And support their efforts every day.

This weekend, when you see a VFW member selling a “buddy poppy” — little red flowers that are made by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals — buy one to help needy veterans and their dependents.

When you hear about a fish fry, bake sale or barbecue, plan to have those for dinner that night.

Veterans appreciate our thanks. They will appreciate our steadfast support even more.