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.

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