Op-Ed # 594 On Veterans Day, Nov 11th, and Every Day, Americans Thank Veterans For Their Service in Defense of the Republic
By Capt Joseph R. John, November 11, 2022
On November 11th, Veterans Day, and every day, Americans are appreciative of Veterans for their service in the defense of the Republic when they were once active members of the US Armed Forces. We remember and “Honor” military personnel who gave the last full measure of devotion in defense of the Republic and were lost in combat.
Many Veterans still suffer from the negative effects on their health because of volunteering to defend the Republic. An average of 22 Veterans commit suicide every day. Many of those Veterans had been suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or from a disabling wound received in combat on foreign fields of fire. Some Veterans may not have been able to obtain timely or adequate medical treatment or therapy for treatment of their debilitating wounds or PTSD.
The overwhelming majority of 23 million Veterans in the United States are good hard-working citizens, they quietly go about their normal lives, support their families financially, and provide the careful and loving guidance to properly raise their children. Veterans continue to serve their country in Law Enforcement, as First Responders, in government service, as members of the clergy, in medical fields, as computer technicians, in science research, in education, as airline pilots, as members of Congress, in state elective or appointive offices, and in many other civilian endeavors.
About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in combat in "Operation Market Garden" in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944. Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of "their" soldier in a place of honour in their home.
Annually, on "Liberation Day," memorial services are held for "the men who died to liberate Holland." The day concludes with a concert. The final piece is always "Il SILENZIO," a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland's liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.
The soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer, Nino Rossi.
Every Veteran, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount “up to and including their life.” If you know or recognize a Veteran who served in the defense of the Republic, and you have an opportunity to communicate with that Veteran, we encourage you to show your appreciation for his or her service, by thanking him or her for the defense of the Republic.
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