Veterans Day sentiment should extend year round

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our nation will honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces next week when Veterans Day is celebrated.

The national ceremony will take place Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery, with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries.

It will be a truly poignant recognition for those who give and gave so much.

As we look to give thanks next week, we do so knowing many right here in our own community are serving our country everyday in an effort to protect all we hold dear.

Four Louisiana National Guardsmen from the 1084th Transportation Company based in Reserve were presented the Purple Heart combat decoration Sunday in Fleming Hall at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans.

Those honored included Spc. Stephen E. Griffin of Morgan City, 1st Lt. Lance B. MacAlester of New Orleans, Staff Sgt. Alfredo M. Bautista of New Orleans and Spc. Tylor N. Burns-Muller of Denham Springs.

“If you’ve never looked at a hero, there are four of them right here,” Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, the adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, told family and friends Sunday while motioning to the recipients.

The Purple Heart is, according to the National Guard, the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first American award made available to the common soldier. It was initially created by George Washington and revived by the U.S. War Department in 1932.

It is awarded to those wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy, a true combat decoration.

We just made it through Election Day, and the runoffs are coming next month. It’s a truly special time in the American process, something made possible through the efforts and sacrifices of our Armed Forces.

We are blessed to celebrate their contributions in a national way next week with Veterans Day.

We are a better nation due to the 1084th Transportation Company and their brothers and sisters across the Armed Forces — something that can be appreciated on all days.