HomeOpinionVeterans deserve our gratitude all year

Veterans deserve our gratitude all year

We don’t need to let this weekend get away from us without doing the main thing Saturday calls on all Americans to do: Honor our military veterans.

Nov. 11 is Veterans’ Day, which works out well this year since it’s on a Saturday, and Saturday is usually the day of the Veterans’ Day Parade in Jackson.

This year’s parade marshal will be the members of the Disabled Veterans of America Jackson Chapter 7. While the parade starts at 11 a.m. coming out of the parking lot of the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Downtown Jackson, lineup starts at 9:45 and a special opening ceremony will happen at 10:45.

But the parade will be the final in a series of events that will happen this weekend.

The weekend will start about 24 hours earlier on Friday when members of the West Tennessee Veterans’ Coalition will stand on bridges over Interstate 40 for two hours during the middle of the day waving flags and hanging banners to honor veterans.

This is always a fun thing to be a part of because after two hours of standing on a bridge with 100 vehicles coming under you at 70 miles an hour honking at you in agreement with the banners and the flags, you start to get used to that.

This event branched off how the coalition honored some our local military personnel who served overseas for a year or two and came home.

The coalition wanted to make sure they came home to a hero’s welcome, and flags on the bridges were one way to convey that message to them.

They did that, and ever since, they’ve done this on Veterans’ Day as well.

Then on Friday night at Englewood Baptist Church, Captain Roy Cash USN (retired) will be speaking at the 11th annual Veterans’ Day Program at 6:30 p.m. Kellye Cash will also be performing along with the Jackson State Community College Innovations Vocal Ensemble. This event is free and open to the public.

Then of course the next morning is Saturday when the parade happens.

But I really hope more of us don’t let the honor for our veterans ends there for 52 weeks.

These people at the very least have sacrificed a few months or a year away from their families while they served, being willing to be the front line of defense if our nation’s freedoms or sovereignty were ever threatened.

The next line I wrote here initially said, “There’s a reason that’s only happened one or two times in our lifetime, because of how great our military is.” But that statement probably isn’t accurate.

I’m a journalist covering one county in rural West Tennessee. I have no idea how often our country is threatened.

And honestly, I don’t want to know.

I want to be able to have the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and press to be able to say and print what I want to and then be able to go home at night and enjoy an evening with my family then enjoy the day on Saturday watching football and church on Sunday.

I have that freedom to do all of that, and that could be threatened on a regular basis.

No matter how often that threat is there, we owe a thank you to every person who’s willing to stand on that front line and knock down any threats to our country.

So to our veterans, thank you. For everything. Not just this weekend, but all year long.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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