hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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November 1, 2012

A salute to our military veterans

If I could, I’d honor every single military veteran who ever served this country in battle.

It wouldn’t matter which war — Japan, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq or Afghanistan. To me, one bloodshed or emotional scar is as bad as another.

These are my true heroes, not the baseball players earning megabuck salaries and the football elite catching million-dollar touchdowns.

Most of the ones I would salute are the anonymous and the unheralded who look for no ceremonial tributes — quiet heroes in a faceless society whose deeds are better left unsaid than undone.

As the fight in Afghanistan proceeds to a bitter end while another in Syria and Libya seems to be escalating, it’s time for all of us to pause and reflect upon all those putting their lives at risk for the well-being of this country.

It was staggering to see our consulate invaded in Libya and innocent victims put to death. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude on this Veterans Day. It’s a time for not only those who wear a military uniform, but others who make the ultimate sacrifice.

As I look to Hollywood, I see military films being placed upon our viewing public. The real war is no play act. It’s a blood-and-guts war that can aim its target on my son or your daughter. When a soldier or Marine dies, I tend to take it very personally as an American. We all should.

It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to pay homage. One way would be to fly the American flag from your home or business. Another is to attend a Veterans Day parade in your community.

In my city, people like American Legion guru John Kazarosian take no hiatus in organizing parades and getting the youth involved. It wasn’t enough for him to serve the Navy with dignity. Truth is, he and others are still serving the ranks, long after discharge.

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