Senate District 18
John Eklund
Column: A Day to Honor Our Military Men and Women
A Guest Column by State Senator John Eklund
November 8, 2017
Veterans Day calls us to honor the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces. Our veterans come from all backgrounds, regions and walks of life. Some have even made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. But they all have one thing in common: courage. 

Ohio’s veterans are similarly diverse - our state has the 6th largest veteran population in America. Today, in addition to expressing gratitude to all those who have served, I want to pay special tribute the almost 800,000 Ohioans who are veterans. They have defended our country’s values and, in doing so, have made their and state proud. Ohio’s veterans are exemplary citizens - small business owners, doctors, legislators, and teachers. The remarkable contributions of veterans to their communities are part of what makes Ohio a great place to live. 

Our military veterans represent true bravery. Those who have answered the call to serve make tremendous sacrifices. A life of service often involves enduring great adversity. While away from home, families and friends of our veterans are affected too. The service of a parent explaining to a child why their mother or father cannot be there for milestones, like recitals, first steps, to celebrate achievements, to console during tribulations, and to put at ease the worries of loved ones. This, too, is a sacrifice made for our country—a familiar badge of patriotism worn by many families. 

Veterans Day calls for recognition: acknowledging those in the military for the great sacrifices they’ve made. Veterans Day calls for celebration: celebrating service members who have safely returned home. Veterans Day calls for mourning: honoring the fallen and the incomparable sacrifice they’ve made. But perhaps, above all, Veterans Day calls for appreciation: thanking those among us, past, present, and future, whose lives are dedicated to keeping us safe. To them we owe the most sincere gratitude. 

Thank you to all the men and women who have volunteered to serve and those who have sacrificed their lives in the Armed Forces of the United States. It is important to recognize the courage of families that have supported this call to duty. 

Our soldiers should be celebrated every day, but today is an especially important day to take an extra few minutes to share our thanks for our veterans.
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