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Once again on this eleventh day of the eleventh month, our nation commemorates Veterans Day. It is good to regularly acknowledge the sacrifices made by the millions of living U.S. military veterans who served during times of war. There are 24.5 million of them.
We think of those who fought in the great wars of the past century: the few surviving veterans of World War I and the dwindling number of soldiers who fought during World War II. Time is taking its natural mortal toll among those who did so much to preserve our nation’s freedom.
We also remember the millions who served in Korea, Vietnam and Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
While acknowledging the veterans of past conflicts, though, we can’t help thinking this day of those who will join the veteran ranks after their service in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of them are Utahns who signed on for limited weekend duty as reservists or members of the National Guard, and now find themselves fully engaged in the War on Terrorism.
They deserve our gratitude and their families here at home deserve our support.
Every Veterans Day is worth remembering, but commemorating it in the midst of war seems to make the day even more reflective and sobering.