As we enter the holiday season there is another important federal holiday that deserves just as much attention as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, and that is Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is one of the 10 federal holidays which are recognized nationwide by the United States government and is a day to observe remembrance of all U.S. military veterans – past and present.

Veterans Day is celebrated every Nov. 11 and has been a federal holiday since 1926.

Some may feel that Veterans Day doesn’t receive the recognition that it deserves, yet it is vital to our country’s history and future.

As we approach Veterans Day this year I feel it’s more important than ever to affirm this holiday into the minds of readers. Veterans are our family members, co-workers, friends and the many acquaintances and strangers who we may interact with on a daily basis.

These citizens have taken an oath when they enlisted into the United States Armed Forces that states that they will: Solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that they will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over them, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

What does this oath mean to you?

To me this oath is very powerful in that the average citizen promises to defend our country’s borders and our Constitution. The fact that the average citizen can make the choice to defend our country and all of its citizens is powerful. I’ve always admired those willing to take the Armed Forces oath. It says to me that a person is willing to put themselves in harms way to protect our nation.

If that isn’t the ultimate sacrifice I don’t know what is.

As our nation advances into uncharted territory both politically and in warfare, we must all remember and value the importance of Veterans Day. It’s my belief some citizens may feel the unity of our nation has decreased recently.

However, it’s my observation when push came to shove within our nation our citizens have come together and rallied those within our borders and those who defend them.

To pay homage to veterans the Redwood Gazette is publishing its annual special pages of area veterans. There is still time for you to submit a veteran(s) you wish to be published and recognized. The public is invited to submit photos of veterans who have served in all branches of service. 

Feel free to drop off or mail photos along with name, area of service, years of service to: Redwood Gazette, 219 S. Washington St., Redwood Falls, MN, 56283. The deadline for your submission is Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.

Finally, to all veterans and their families, know that I and many others appreciate and respect all that you have done to defend our country and freedoms. It’s my belief that the United States will prevail through all turmoil present and future and continue to fight for freedom for all.