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Let’s show veterans our appreciation

Inviting veterans to come in for Friday’s special page was an eye-opening experience for all of us at the Selma Times-Journal.

The overwhelming response gave us a chance to get to know some of the men and women who have fought to protect our freedom. It also gave us a chance to hear some of their stories.

It’s amazing how many of them can talk about the tough times, reflect on some very dangerous situations and smile.

There is no doubt there were very few smiles while they were in combat, but today, they can fondly remember their contributions to America and its citizens.

There is nothing quite like sitting down and spending a little time with someone who has been a part of a war or military conflict.

It helps shed light on just how dedicated these men and women are to their country and their people.

We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they make, and Friday, we have a chance to again say thanks.

A special program is planned for Memorial Stadium at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

It would be wonderful to see a standing-room only crowd to show our support. So often in the news we read about people and groups that oppose the wars in the Middle East and other military conflicts across the globe.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, I suppose, but we should always remember those caught in the middle that are simply doing their jobs.

The opinions we are free to voice are because of these soldiers. We should never forget that.

Friday morning, I challenge you to find the time to drop by the Veterans Day celebration and spend some time with at least one veteran you do not know.

Listen to their stories and allow them to reflect on their contributions to this nation.

I can assure you, the stories you hear will make you appreciate this country and its freedom even more.

It’s important to let our veterans know how important they are to us every day. It is even more important to let them know on days that are designated to honor their service.

Let’s make sure they receive the recognition they deserve by filling the seats for this special event.