A young girl presses a flower next to the name of a relative who died in the Vietnam war. This photo was taken on Veterans Day, 1999.

Today is one of two days set aside each year to honor those who put on the uniform and defend our country but remembering those who serve is something we should be doing the other 363 days as well.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with the politics of a war or not. The young men and women who put their lives at risk for their nation are tools used by politicians to further agendas. Some wars are viewed as just by a majority of Americans, some are not. But we should remember that America itself is a nation created by a war against the tyranny of an English King and we survived a Civil War where too many Americans died at the hands of other Americans.

Vietnam was a defining moment for my generation and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan keep the debate over the need for war alive today..

Dying for your country is the greatest sacrifice that any nation asks of its citizens. On this day, dedicated to those who have and those who will, let’s put aside our philosophical differences and honor those who serve.

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