Rembering veterans

  • Published
  • By Capt. Martha Petersante-Gioia
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
For many, Veteran's Day is simply a day off from work or school. During our rush to surf the net, watch the newest video, or download the newest online game many think of this day as only more time to gratify our multi-sensory needs. Yet, it is a time to remember those who have come before and reflect on the sacrifices made. 

In many courtyards, cemeteries and other memorials across the country those sacrifices are honored Nov. 11 with various remembrance observances. Words will be spoken to honor those in uniform and showcase their sacrifices both large and small, past and present. Salutes will be rendered, speeches made and flags waved.
As I think about what it means to serve my country I cannot help but to think about the sacrifices my family and so many others have made both now and during some of our nations' must turbulent times. 

From storming the beaches of Europe and the Pacific during WWII, through the jungles of Vietnam to the streets of Iraq, our servicemembers have willingly given their lives for our country. It is this dedication and love of country that guides and steers their journey. It is up to those of us back home to ensure they are not forgotten. 

As I lace up my combat boots, I can proudly say that I'm a third generation service member -- my great-uncle Nicholas battled in the South Pacific in WWII; my father during the Korean war with the Marine Corps, my uncle during Vietnam, and I now put on my uniform everyday to support the Global War on Terror. 

As I listen to both my family history and the stories of other servicemembers today (and everyday), I hope that I can live up to their standards and their examples, which are laid out for me. 

As the American flag waves proudly outside of my office building and catching the South Dakota wind, I'll take a moment to hold a silent vigil to honor those who came before me. I encourage everyone to stop, pause and then thank our veterans everyday, not just Nov. 11.