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Originally published Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 12:22p.m.

Saturday is a day for every citizen to remember and honor the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. It’s important to celebrate the service of all of our veterans: those who fought during time of war and those who fought to maintain the peace.

And to all of our veterans, no matter where or when they served, regardless of what branch of military they served in, “thank you” for your service. Each of you did your best.

For some of our veterans, the battle scars, disabling injuries and prolonged illnesses they carry help to keep the memory of their wars fresh in their minds. They deserve the assurances from a grateful nation that what they accomplished, at such high personal cost to them, enables all of us to enjoy a future free from fear.

We need to take a few moments to recognize the men and women who are serving in today’s active-duty military, guard and reserve who, as we meet, are doing every thing they can to defend and preserve freedom and liberty. The sacrifices and accomplishments made by today’s generation of patriots are many, and serves as a reminder that tyranny and evil will never prevail.

The lessons taught by what veterans have provided all of us should never be forgotten. It’s up to all of us to keep the legacy of our veterans alive, to make sure the same spirit and faith in democracy carries through so that future generations will also celebrate the unity, courage, valor and singleness of purpose that is the strength of a free nation.

We should do everything possible to ensure that future generations recognize the heavy price associated with freedom. That they are able to identify the names of far-off places where so many of our best and brightest lost their lives so that others could live free.

Let us hope future generations know the names of our nation’s heroes, and that we are able to instill the same sense of honor and respect in our children that we hold for our nation’s patriots.

Why do we pay tribute to our veterans? Because honoring our veterans is the right thing to do and because we are a nation whose freedom has been guaranteed by all of our veterans.

And while we pay tribute to them, we should also take the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our country and to those who have, and are continuing to protect her.

Let us pay special attention to the needs of those who have served and do everything possible to ensure they receive the benefits and entitlements they have earned. By doing that, ladies and gentlemen, we will be granting them the dignity and respect they deserve.

As we read this today, let’s turn words into action by honoring our obligations to our veterans, just as they honored their obligations to all of us ... make it a point, not just today, but everyday, to thank them for everything they have done and are doing to make this world a safer and peaceful world.

-Department of Arizona Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW

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