The Roll Call is long. Howard Ross, Lowell Sentman, Robert Gordon, Samuel Faust, Aaron Quisenberry, Don Gentile, Katherine Shilling, James L. Palsgrove, William Pitsenbarger, and Marc L. Cole, just to name a few from Miami County who have served in the armed forces … some, who have even made the dearest sacrifice in service.
The list could go on and on regarding those who have served and fought for freedom from the Miami Valley, Ohio, the Midwest and the rest of the country.
Nov. 11, for many, is just another day on the calendar. Originally, it signified the signing of the armistice between the Allies and the Central Powers, effectively ending World War I and was known as Armistice Day. The Eleventh hour, of the Eleventh day, of the Eleventh month was set aside to remember; remember those who served on our behalf; remember those who sacrificed time with family and, perhaps, life; and remember the cost of our liberty, and that of our of allies.
In the United States, Nov. 11 has become Veterans Day and has become a day to recognize and remember all who served, not just those who died in service. So, while we may attend a service in the cemetery and hear Taps, or observe a moment of silence in memory of those who have died, take a look around you and be thankful for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, and then thank them for their service.
Some of those men and women may serve, or have served out of a sense of duty and upholding the strong tradition of U.S. defense. Others may take part because they see few options and it affords a free education. Perhaps, they were drafted in the past and did not much have much say, but they still served. They all served this country … us.
I guess what I am trying to convey is that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the many who have provided us with our defense because I am sure, unless you have served, or have personally been a part of an individual story, none of us really understands how individuals or families have given so much of themselves in respect to military service.
Whenever I sing “America the Beautiful,” I have a hard time getting through the third stanza because I am called on to reflect about those brave men and women: “Oh, beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!”
This year, take a few moments to say “thank you,” or to express your appreciation of their service.
Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org