The Veterans Day programs in this area were many, especially at schools, and those who served in the military, and are serving now, certainly are appreciative. We heard one veteran make this remark: “Why didn’t they do this 50 and 60 years ago?”
He was referring to an era when Veterans Day was not observed as widely as it is today. In fact, during the Vietnam War, mainly because of an unfair draft of young men, those in the military were treated with disrespect. Not every American felt that way, but, as usual, the vocal ones were the ones who were the loudest. Also 60 years ago when the veterans were returning from the Korean War they were ignored except by their own families, who welcomed them home.
America went through an era in which patriotism hit a new low. It came back to a high level when Ronald Reagan was president (1981-1989). It has been on the upswing since the Reagan era. Our veterans’ organizations through all the low periods remained loyal to their causes and did what they could to promote patriotism.
The leaders in our schools who sponsored the Veterans Day programs deserve congratulations for their efforts. These programs undoubtedly make an impression on the students. It is part of the learning process. They learn about this nation’s military history which is important. They need to gain an appreciation of the sacrifices made for them by veterans. What they enjoy today in this country is due to the protection of our freedoms by those who served in the military.
The veterans who went through those low patriotism periods are most appreciative of all programs that recognize their sacrifices, even if it took many years. Today’s young generation was not the one that was disrespectful to veterans.