Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, will be an especially poignant Veterans Day for remembrance, marking as it does the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
I’ll remember the regrets that my grandmother expressed about her brother, my great-uncle, killed in action in France during the last days of that war. The only son of immigrants, he left his widowed mother and five sisters when he volunteered. He felt a responsibility to serve this country.
On a day that honors all veterans, I’ll remember my father, who went ashore on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Grievously wounded, he came home to convalescence that lasted years and a permanent disability. He served because it was his duty.
I’ll remember my own service starting in the last days of the Vietnam War and continuing through Desert Storm that, while paling in comparison to theirs, was my effort to serve and do my duty.
Responsibility, duty, service and sacrifice are contributions all veterans make to their country. Not everyone serves in the military; not everyone needs to. But everyone needs to take up their share of responsibility and do their duty to this country. On Nov. 6, remember to vote. If you do not vote, you fail your duty and dishonor the memories of all veterans.
Lt. Col. James F. Janda, U.S. Army (Ret.), Sandy