Our country, our flag, our freedom! We set aside one day each year to remember, thank and honor these brave Americans we call Veterans for their service to provide and protect our way of life. It seems to me that so many people have forgotten that the liberties of our great land came at a cost. I can’t imagine how the men and women of our Armed Services must feel when they see the cherished symbols of their sacrifice so disrespected by parts of our population.

Our country, our flag, our freedom! We set aside one day each year to remember, thank and honor these brave Americans we call Veterans for their service to provide and protect our way of life. It seems to me that so many people have forgotten that the liberties of our great land came at a cost. I can’t imagine how the men and women of our Armed Services must feel when they see the cherished symbols of their sacrifice so disrespected by parts of our population.
I am not a veteran yet I enjoy the privileges of living in the greatest nation in the world! I didn’t pay the price for freedom, I just live in it every minute of every day! But I acknowledge that many of my friends and neighbors proudly and honorably served to ensure I could live as I do. If we forget the past, I fear that our future may be unsure. Not only do I watch for ways to thank our veterans, I do my best to influence those I can to do the same! Each school year I partner with The Missouri Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon to provide my students at East Newton High School an opportunity to meet real American Heroes! Our class made a trip to The Home last month and met some very amazing individuals! Each time I walk through the doors of their home, I sense an atmosphere of pride and honor. The students are met with stories and accounts of each veteran’s service which seem to make history come alive!
It is my prayer that on this Veterans Day and every day we can find a revived passion to honor those who have served and those who are currently serving our country in the Armed Services. We can never repay what they have done for us! God Bless our Veterans and The United States of America!

Doug Gripka is the pastor of Newtonia Baptist Church and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.