Not Just a Veteran’s Day

Not Just a Veteran’s Day
11/10/17

As we begin this “Veterans Week,” I want to take a moment and reflect on what’s been going on these past 2 weeks. Since the end of trick or treat Halloween, there has been two major incidents which resulted in the loss of American lives. First incident took place last week in New York, where an alleged ISIS-inspired attacker drove a truck down a bike lane in NYC, killing eight and injuring many more. Then this past Sunday, a former military servicemen named, Devin Kelley, entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and killed at least 26 people, and wounded many others. Although both of the attacks were two separate events, it seems attacks like this have been happening repeatedly in the past couple years. Cities like London, Barcelona, Stockholm and Berlin, all of which have been struck by truck-driving terrorists in recent years had all been linked to ISIS or terrorist attacks. So do these attacks have anything to do with Veteran’s Day itself? Well, I think it’s ideal to shed some light in some of these horrific events because Veteran’s Day is not about thanking a service member for their service, or getting a free meal or a discount at the mall. Even though it’s a great gesture and you’re showing your gratitude towards our military veterans, we also need to be aware that the victim’s family are still mourning for the loss of their loved ones. It seems like the nation only grieves when CNN, FOX News, or other media networks choose which storyline will draw more audiences to increase their viewer’s rating. The media doesn’t care for the victim’s families; they only simply care which story will sell, then they move on to another headline. We need to be better than the media by demonstrating that we still care and feel for those victims who lost their lives in those attacks. Let’s not just talk about it for a week then move on with our lives, let’s remember them just as we remember all of our veterans who gave up their lives for the cause.

Each of our nation’s military and veterans made the decision to stand up and put their lives on the line for a purpose greater than themselves. This week is about honoring not only the contributions of our living veterans, but also those made the ultimate sacrifice. We also pay tribute to the family members, friends, and community partners who stand side by side with our nation’s military members and veterans.

At a time when current events and headlines can often bring us down, we should continue to focus on the positive stories that so many of our nation’s military and veterans are writing every day across the country and the globe. These, often quiet, legacies are what truly define us as a people and will pave the way for our nation’s future.

Jen Yung Lee

US Army, SSGT (Retired)

Scotch Tasting, Chatham NJ

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