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Take time to say thanks on Veterans Day

By By LAVAN MARTIN
VFW Post Commander
To the young student at Escambia County High School who said to veterans visiting his school in honor of Veterans Day, "I'm going into the Air Force when I finish school," or to the junior ROTC cadet at Northview High School who said, "I really enjoy the training I get in ROTC and look forward to the day when I can join the Navy" and to the young girl at Flomaton Elementary who said, "My great-grandfather was in the Army in World War II," we veterans say THANK YOU! Thank you to all students and faculty who allowed veterans into your schools.
These are but a few of the comments veterans from Atmore's VFW Post 7016 and American Legion Post 90 heard during their visits to local schools as they participated in the VFW Veterans in the School program. As one teary eyed veteran said, "I'm so happy I had this experience; I really believe our country will be in good hands when these students join the ranks of adulthood."
Yes, Veterans Day 2000 is upon us. This is the day we honor and salute all of the many Americans who throughout our history, have unselfishly placed their lives on the line for freedom. We remember the "Doughboys" from World War I and our sons and daughters who fought on the bloody ridges of Viet Nam and on the sandy dunes of the Persian Gulf. We also remember America's honored dead at their resting place beneath silent white crosses both here at home and in foreign lands.
American veterans represent all races and ethnic groups, both men and women. They are of every creed, belief and physical description. They are your neighbor next door, the owner of the grocery store and the fireman saving lives. They are the 26 million Americans living today who have proudly worn our country's military uniform and they are the more than one million who have died defending the United States.
Some American veterans are famous heroes who have received a great deal of honor and publicity, but most are not. Most are just ordinary citizens who answered the call to duty when it came. Duty to their country took them from the safety of their homes and families and often led them to the hardship and dangers of war.
On Veterans Day 2000, I hope all Atmore citizens will seek out veterans and simply say, "Thank you." You will find them retired and living among you or still active and working in shops, stores, churches, schools – in just about every walk of life. Just simply say how grateful you are and how much you appreciate their sacrifices. I'm sure they'll smile and say something like, "Thank you. You just made my day!"
Thank you all, and may God bless all veterans and the United States of America.