Let's Honor Veterans Every Day
By U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley
One of the greatest honors I hold as a Member of Congress is having the opportunity to meet the brave men and women who defend our liberties at home and abroad. I have met these soldiers and veterans at numerous medal ceremonies, parades, clinic openings, monument dedications and other special events. I am always struck by their resolve and unwavering dedication to the ideal of freedom for which our nation stands. I have had many opportunities to hear about their experiences during, and after, their service to our country.
Sgt. Eugene Moreau, a member of the elite Delta Force Green Berets, was killed in action during an ambush attack in Vietnam. His two sons and grandchildren received his medals almost forty years later and learned so much more about their father and grandfather - a man they never got a chance to know - from some of the Green Berets who fought by his side.
Many of New Hampshire's elected officials, such as state Rep. Norman Weldy of Raymond, fought bravely for their country and came back home to serve their country in another capacity as public servants.
Benjamin Blancato, an Exeter resident who supervised POWs and rescued a fellow soldier from drowning in the Rhine River during World War II, now volunteers at the Exeter office of the N.H. Disabled American Veterans, helping other fellow veterans in his own small way.
Countless veterans and soldiers have served our country not only in combat overseas, but here at home. They have been on the front lines of disasters within our own borders, completing rescue missions, repairing communities and rebuilding lives. Soldiers and members of our National Guard were instrumental in the response to recent natural disasters in our state and country, and their personal stories are profound and inspiring. Veterans have joined together to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the recent flooding in New Hampshire. Long after their service in the military is over, these men and women continue to serve our state and nation.
I have also observed firsthand the bravery of our men and women serving overseas and here at home during my two trips to Iraq and most recently to Louisiana and Mississippi. As Americans we have all witnessed their courage and commitment to getting the job done, and we are humbled by their dedication to our nation.
Today is a day set aside for us to honor these courageous soldiers of past and present. We pay tribute to the innumerable sacrifices they have made to protect and preserve our freedoms, and they will always be remembered by a thankful nation.
But we must resolve to honor these men and women the other 364 days of the year. We must resolve to remember what they have fought and died for, and the memory of their sacrifices should instill in us a steadfastness to live our lives in a way that will honor their efforts. Veterans deserve our support, our respect and our thanks every day for their work in advancing the cause of freedom.