A Salute to Veterans


By Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

November 11 is Veteran’s Day, a day to honor all of our heroes who have or who are serving our country here and abroad. Schools all across Oklahoma and the nation will have ceremonies to observe this important holiday.

The day originally commemorated the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the official end of World War I, “the war to end all wars.”

While we have not achieved the end of conflict in the world, we must still hope for it and seek it for our children and for our children’s children.

Ronald Reagan said, “The search for peace must go on, but we have a better chance of finding it if we maintain our strength while we’re searching.” Reagan's observation is an important reminder that America, as a shining city on a hill, is a defender of liberty. And it’s a reminder that, time and again, America has given lives and treasure in that defense.

Veteran’s Day serves as an opportunity for students and educators to honor those who serve, those who served, and those who laid down their lives for the cause of liberty. I hope all students will understand the importance of our veterans, and the sacrifices they have made.

Chances are each of us knows someone serving in a branch of our nation’s armed forces. I urge students and educators to take time to say an extra thank you, write a card to someone serving away from home, or visit a veteran’s grave.

I know I will be thinking Friday about my father who served in World War II, my brother John who served in Vietnam and my cousin Kim who lost his life in Vietnam.

And I would like to say thank you to all of the other veterans – those living and serving and those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

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Last updated on December 13, 2011