Thanking those who protected our freedoms


Election Day dominated much of the limelight this week, but our country will soon observe another important date.

Sunday is Veterans Day, when we recognize those who have served in America’s armed forces and sacrificed so much for our nation.

Though they deserve public recognition and thanks, many veterans live as quiet heroes among us, rarely talking about their service. In fact, you may have known someone for years without realizing they served in the military.

If you know someone who is a veteran — a parent, grandparent, sibling, son, daughter, neighbor, coworker or friend — be sure to thank them for their selfless service to our country.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of America’s celebration of veterans’ bravery and sacrifice.

On Nov. 11, 1918, World War I ended as the Allies and Germany signed an armistice agreement. Armistice Day eventually became an official holiday honoring veterans of World War I. But more wars followed, so Nov. 11 was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to include all veterans who honorably served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Powell will recognize local veterans at several events on Monday, starting with Powell High School’s annual Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. That afternoon, Powell Middle School will host its program for veterans and their families at 2:15 p.m.

The American Legion Hughes Pittinger Post 26 will hold a program for veterans at the Powell Valley Care Center at 1 p.m. Monday, while the American Legion will host a Veterans Day dinner beginning at 6 p.m. that evening.

Post 26 is planning special commemorations in 2019, which will mark the Powell post’s 100th anniversary.

It seems fitting that we recognize Election Day and Veterans Day within the same week. As millions of voters cast their ballots, we have veterans to thank for protecting this right and so many other freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

Just a few weeks ago, on the other side of the world, Afghanistan held its first parliamentary elections in eight years. A Utah soldier serving with the National Guard called it a beautiful sight to witness.

“The strong turnout, despite the attacks and challenges, was a success for the long-suffering people of Afghanistan and for the cause of human freedom,” Brent Taylor wrote in an Oct. 28 post, encouraging everyone back home to exercise “their precious right to vote.”

Tragically, several days after writing that post, Taylor was was killed in action in Afghanistan. The husband and father of seven was the mayor of North Ogden, Utah.

We share his story to highlight the powerful words he wrote to his fellow Americans just before his death: “Whether the Republicans or the Democrats win … remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us.”

One of the many things that unites us: We are all protected by men and women who are willing to serve our nation, even if it means giving their own lives. They fought for us all, whether we’re liberal, conservative or somewhere in between.

Let’s express our sincere gratitude to veterans this week, even when our thanks doesn’t seem like enough.