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We can honor veterans by giving them jobs, job training and a hand up

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

By David A. Sam

Germanna Community College President

When I was young, I vividly remember my mother making a point to buy a poppy for each of us to wear on our clothing for “Remembrance Day,” as she still called Nov. 11. We know it as Veterans’ Day, but she was born Nov. 30, 1918, just 19 days after the guns fell silent to end the War to End all Wars, and that is what the day was called when she was a child. She always reminded me of 11-11-11 because the Armistice took effect on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

Today is another 11-11-11. And, unhappily, many wars have followed.

Today, at both Germanna Community College campuses, students, faculty, staff and community members read from the roll of those who have died in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today we also pause to thank our veterans and remember those not here to be thanked. It is the least we can do.

We can also:

- hire a veteran

- retrain a veteran

- assist a veteran in trouble

- pray for those who are serving and have served

or just feel a deep gratitude in our hearts for those who have answered the call and stood their ground so we can live without having to defend ourselves.

The poppies we wore memorialized the poppy fields in Flanders where many Americans lie instead of having come home. Around the cemetery, many battles were fought in the Ypres region. Heavy fighting over the years of the war cost about a million casualties. The battles were memorialized in a famous poem by a veteran of that war:

The poppies we were memorialized the poppy fields in Flanders where many Americans lie instead of having come home. Around the cemetery, many battles were fought in the Ypres region. Heavy fighting over the years of the war cost about a million casualties. The battles were memorialized in a famous poem by a veteran of that war:

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Veterans Department web site

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/germanna/2011/11/11/we-can-honor-veterans-by-giving-them-jobs-job-training-and-a-hand-up/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stan-Chaz/100002015710670 Stan Chaz

    I don’t need 11-11-11 to remind me that America will always be number one in my heart…the land and the people that I love. Problem is, America used to work. The people had work. The system worked. Hey, EVEN the Congress used to work…(sometimes). God knows, it was far, far, far from perfect – but at least we all had some share in the struggles AND the rewards. But somewhere along the way, we lost our way. And now we have an economy and a political system that seems to work only for the rich. What they call “trickle down economics”… leaves most of us out in the cold cold rain. We need to get back to what America was, and what it should be, and what it can be. Occupy Wall Street is no longer just a place called Zuccotti Park – Zuccotti Park is everywhere. You can beat us and arrest us, you can mace and tear-gas us, you can try to “permit” us to death….but you can’t kill an idea. You can’t keep down a people’s hopes and dreams for a better life…..a life with dignity and freedom….for us… and for our kids. More power to Occupy Wall Street, as it spreads to every town and city – because OWS is us, and for us, and by us. It comes up from the grassroots, and it lifts us up in turn. With OWS America has found it’s voice, and that voice demands fairness and justice – for ALL. This land IS our land! AND WE WANT IT BACK! We want our LIVES back! We want our FUTURE back! But It’s more than just words…. It’s more than just politics. It’s your life, and how you want to live it. So why not take some time, find a quiet place somewhere, and consider this: Each of us has only one brief life….one chance….one roll of the dice…and many choices. It’s time to choose….to risk…and to act. If not now…then when? If not you, then….who? You DO have the power my friend….and the choice is yours. Don’t let your dreams die….