Show honor, not ignorance to veterans


The UNF campus closed Nov. 11, leaving students, faculty and staff free from classes, office hours and work. And while some might have noticed the reason, many quickly regarded the day as an extra day of fun.

Some even found the day off to be a nuisance, as mail carriers, bankers and other federal operations were closed.

But the day off wasn’t meant to celebrate college students. Veterans Day is the one day of the year set aside to honor those who sacrifice their lives daily for our freedoms.

We didn’t get mail for a day; they didn’t get to see their families for years straight – the trouble doesn’t even compare.

Those who recognized the immense difference and took time to honor those entitled to the holiday, thank you.

Like the U.S. government, which instilled Veterans Day – originally known as Armistice Day – as a national holiday in 1938, you recognized the service and commitment that is so often taken for granted.

So did President Eisenhower, who proclaimed Nov. 11 as the day to honor soldiers of all wars 16 years later in 1954.

President Ford followed in 1978, commemorating the day as one of historic significance to many Americans.

But unfortunately, the vast majority of the UNF community saw the day as one to catch up on rest, work and play.

Students, faculty and staff should have taken time to honor those in the military – especially seven years into the Iraqi war.

While the community complains about high gas prices, more than 200,000 American soldiers left for Iraq during the past seven years, and 5,191 died in service, according to a CNN report.

Those are the men and women to honor Nov. 11.

They followed in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who fought in the Gulf War, Desert Storm, the Vietnam War and World War II.

The veterans of these wars are the ones to honor Nov. 11.

Members of the UNF community need to take time to respect those who returned from Iraq, Vietnam or World War II.

Talk to someone who served the country and begin to understand from first-hand accounts what it is like to be at war.

There are hundreds of veterans who are open and willing to talk, and many are just looking for someone to listen.

Time spent listening is the honor they deserve.