By Rick Bass

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

A blessed and grateful nation never forgets those who served and those who are serving in our nation’s military. Specific days of remembrance have been established by our country to never forget those who have sacrificed and died. And, those who are still serving to keep our nation free and to ensure our cherished democratic values never perish.

Veterans Day, November 11th – Americans pay tribute to all American veterans, but they especially give thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. A long standing recognized tradition within the US is the laying of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorial Day – The fourth Monday in May honors American service members who died in service to their country who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Services are held at cemeteries throughout the nation with solemn and dignified programs of remembrance of those service members who have died.

Patriot Day – Is a United States national observance that honors the memory of those who were killed in the September 11 attacks. A moment of silence is traditionally observed at 8:46 AM. Many organizations and establishments hold memorial ceremonies to honor the victims of 9/11. During those terrorist attacks, almost 3,000 people were killed and over 6,000 people were injured. It is considered to be the deadliest terrorist attack on the United States since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Is held annually on December 7th commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Japanese Navy, pushing the United States into World War II. 2403 Americans were killed and 1178 were injured with the attack sinking four US battleships and damaging 10 others. It also destroyed 188 aircraft and damaged an additional 159.

Our service members worldwide are sacrificing for their country and its citizens – away from their home and families – to keep the world free against tyranny and defend our democratic values. Many may think these solemn days of remembrance are excuses for backyard barbeques and community parties – they are not.

As one who has served and is blessed to have a long history of family members who have also served, I know empirically, freedom is not free!
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

I invite all of us to pay their respects on these specific days by flying the American flag in remembrance and honor for those who served and are serving this great country of ours. May God Bless America and all our service members worldwide.

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Rick Bass is a USAF Veteran. He has extensive background in crisis management, suicide prevention and re-source development for the disabled. A lifelong community volunteer and a new age music composer, he enjoys the expansive beauty of the Vail area.

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