by Mayor Tammy

This week – both as a country and in our community - we have the honor to thank all those who have served our country. Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11th and began as “Armistice Day” commemorating the end of World War I.  Meridian will celebrate and honor our military men and women at 11 am with an event at the Rock of Honor in Kleiner Park. We want to take time and gather in support of those who have protected our communities through war and during peacetime. I appreciate our veterans service and eternally grateful for their sacrifices!

What you may not realize is that veterans are all around us.  They are our families, (parents, spouses, children) coworkers, and neighbors.  Here are some numbers to give perspective to this:

  • 16.1 million living veterans have served during at least one war.
  • 5.2 million veterans have served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • 124,000 veterans in Idaho

The City of Meridian employs a number of veterans. We are proud of these men and women and their families. As I was thinking about what to write, I reached out to a few City employees and asked what Veterans Day means to them? I wanted to share some of their responses.

“As a military spouse we are ingrained and surrounded by daily reminders of service to our nation and the sacrifices of our military. Veterans Day is a day to honor all living Americans who have worn the uniform, past and present. Veterans Day is their day. In our family we leave it up to them to decide how they want to spend their day. Each and every year it astounds me to see how many in our community honor and celebrate all of our veterans and military members. Whether it be a free oil change or a free appetizer, those small gestures mean so much to them and it means the world to me when I hear someone say to them “Thank you for your service”.”

“Joining the military was the first time I truly felt like I was part of something bigger than myself.  I was 19 years old so it was the biggest decision I had made in my life up to that point.  Whenever I am at some type of function and they ask all of the veterans to stand up or raise their hands, I immediately get misty-eyed, not for my own service but for the service of all.  Especially for those that I know were called up to serve during wartime.  They sacrificed personally for the greater good of the whole.  That is what Veterans Day means to me:  honoring, remembering and respecting those that sacrificed personally for the greater good of our country.  I feel humbled and grateful to stand alongside those that gave so much.”

“Veterans Day is an important day to me.  My grandfather served in WWII as a medic on the beaches at Normandy – a time he still cannot talk about.  My father served stateside during the Vietnam War as Military Police guarding the air force bases.  And, my husband served stateside and overseas in the Army as a Russian Linguist.  No matter how long, or where they served, being a veteran holds a place of honor in my family.  We honor them for doing things we could not do, and others would not do, for their fellow man.”  

My dad served our country, now my daughter-in-law’s son is awaiting deployment – there are countless stories of family members that have stepped up to serve. As I close, I hope you will take one of the many opportunities to publicly honor our veterans. There are a number of events Veterans Day offers or simply take a moment to say privately thank the veteran in your life - for what they gave, as well as the families that supported them through their service to our country.

I encourage you to come out and be part of the Veterans Day ceremony at the Rock of Honor this Saturday, November 11 starting at 11 am.  While superhero movies are all the rage, come spend time honoring some real heroes - our veterans - and say “Thank you for your Service.”

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