The Garden City Telegram
11/7/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Vet salute

Community has opportunity to honor those who served.

Communities always could do more to honor their military veterans.

Count Garden City among places doing their best to offer a proper salute on Veterans Day.

Again this year, the efforts of various groups and sponsors have resulted in a meaningful tribute to those who served.

A local Veterans Day celebration Saturday will include the second fireworks show of the year, one that promises to make the same glorious and patriotic statement as the city's annual Fourth of July display.

Events planned Saturday before the fireworks show include the annual American Legion Parade starting at 10 a.m. in downtown Garden City. Attendees will be treated to a free hamburger and hot dog cookout, and after lunch may meet and hear from parade grand marshal and guest speaker Ronald Burbridge, a U.S. Marine Corps and Korean War veteran.

Veterans also are encouraged to show up wearing something from their branch of service for a group photo shot to appear in The Telegram in print and online.

The goal of the day is to give people more of a reason to get involved in the celebration of our military men and women. Communities have an obligation to honor their veterans and recognize sacrifices they have made, as well as the challenges many face on a daily basis.

Years ago, most Americans wouldn't miss a Veterans Day celebration. Over time, however, we've become less engaged in such activities — which is all the more troubling in a nation that's been no stranger to war as of late, and continues to welcome home new veterans.

Numerous local residents devoted time to organizing Saturday's show of support for veterans. Others in the community should take time to attend and offer their salute.

Expect the parade, fireworks and other activities to drive more interest in the annual Veterans Day celebration, and serve as a nice way to bring people downtown. That said, a sincere desire to honor the men and women who served our nation should be the biggest draw of all.

Veterans are our hometown heroes. They deserve nothing less than a memorable, enthusiastic tribute.