Keller @ Large: No Ordinary Thursday

BOSTON (CBS) – Today is no ordinary Thursday.

It’s Veterans Day, the 91st annual commemoration of the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Unfortunately, unless you work for a bank or for the government and have the day off, you likely won’t notice it unless you make a special effort to do so.

The stock market will be open; so will your local supermarket.

There’s been a trend for more and more businesses to stay open on Veterans Day since the mid-1970s. Because of Vietnam-era hostility toward the military? I’m not sure, but you can’t help but notice that full-scale commemorations of Veterans Day are not as widespread as they once were.

In some local communities, budget cuts have forced reductions or even abandonment of Veterans Day parades and other ceremonies. How unfortunate, given that we live in a time when our military has never been more important to our survival.

And the truth is, the original intent of Veterans Day was that it be – as the 1938 law making it a legal holiday states – “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.”

Without a strong military, and the dedication and courage of the people who make that possible, there would be less peace on earth, and little hope for more.

So if you have the day off today or even have the chance to take a long lunch break, seek out and attend a Veterans Day event near you.

It will remind you of how important our military is to us, and of the crucial reminder of that importance our veterans provide.

And one other thing about that Veterans Day ceremony – chances are you may find Muslim-American veterans there.

There are thousands of Muslims on active duty serving their country; I read a letter online last night from a Muslim vet who recalls reciting a pledge of willingness to serve America at his local mosque.

Yes, today is no ordinary Thursday. It’s a day for reflection, respect, and pride.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • Lou Lange

    As the son-in-law of a 30 year Navy Veteran (who passed away in 2004), I salute all who did serve and are serving in the military to preserve our way of life.

  • jaygee

    There was a time when November 11th had special meaning, especially to those who gave 2 or more years to the service of their country. Perhaps it was the Vietnam debacle that resulted in so many people growing weary of anything military. I truly believe that if there was a draft today, you would see the same protests by college students but since these isn’t, most college kids are more interested in the big game on Saturday or the week-end party. It seems like only yesterday when “Draft Beer, Not Students”, “End the War and Bring our Kids Home from Canada” and the best I recall from Gen. William Westmoreland………..”We met the enemy and he was us.”

  • StanleyRamon

    I’m proud to say that my town, Weymouth, has historically recognized its military veterans and still has events and parades commemorating Veterans Day and Memorial Day. You’re right however that it is not what it once was, or should be, but let’s not put it all on the Vietnam years. I notice a trend by young people, including veterans of our more recent wars who know little about Vietnam, to not be as involved in organizations that typically lend themselves to recognizing veterans with parades and speeches. This year in Weymouth, there was an event held (see here ) where people could come and donate goods that would be sent overseas to our currently serving military. I think the younger generation feels better about these events than the old fashion parade, and it takes less commitment than joining the American Legion.
    Of course I still love marching in the parade every year.
    I also came across this article .
    It was written less than a month after 9-11. Muslims have always served in the U.S. military, but since 9-11 and the fact that we are presently involved in wars in predominately Muslim countries, they are needed more than ever. Nobody knows for sure how many are currently serving because many do not divulge that information when applying.

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