What sacrifices have you made?

By: 

Have you made sacrifices in your life?

Most of us would probably answer “yes” to that question. Sacrifices are a part of life; however, they probably pale in comparison to the true sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the branches of our country’s military.

With Veterans Day just two days away, we wanted to dedicate this week’s editorial space to those men and women who have served our country. They know what it means to sacrifice because all gave some while some gave all.

Unfortunately, society today doesn’t understand the sacrifices made by veterans. Most individuals in this country have not had to sacrifice anything since World War II and the military has shouldered the burden of war.

In short, people in recent generations haven’t had to personally contribute to any “war effort” and are not truly aware of what it takes to defend this country.

Older generations had to deal with rations, shortages, buying bonds and a myriad of things which impacted their daily lives. We haven’t. War has been virtual and almost unreal to us.

Those who have actually been in combat have given up the comforts of home and family, not to mention life and limbs and mental health.

Combat is so much more than just a video game.

Veterans want people to appreciate what they have gone through and understand /cherish the freedoms we all enjoy as a result.

Did you vote yesterday in the Nov. 8 General Election? Thank a veteran.

Are you reading this newspaper? Thank a veteran.

Can you worship in whatever church you want? Thank a veteran.

Can you travel across this great country we are blessed to live in whenever you want? Thank a veteran.

Do you own property, such as a house, car or land? Thank a veteran.

Do you have freedom of speech? Thank a veteran.

These are the people who have defended and protected our country day-in and day-out, at home and abroad, whether in an office in Columbia or on a sand-swept desert in Iraq. They have seen and experienced things they didn’t want to so that we can experience freedom and security on a daily basis.

They have sacrificed much.

Barnwell County residents have four opportunities this Friday, Nov. 11 to thank our veterans and show them just how much we value them, especially the sacrifices they made.

• Barnwell Elementary School will hold a Veterans Day program in its Multipurpose Room on Friday, Nov. 11 at 9:15 a.m. Breakfast will be served prior to the program for all veterans and their spouses at 8:30 a.m. The program will include the presentation of the colors, playing of the National Anthem by the Barnwell High School Scarlett Knights, and other entertainment provided by Barnwell District 45 students. Any attending veterans will be recognized as all branches of the armed services will be honored.

• The Veterans Affairs of Barnwell County will host a Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in front of the Veterans Affairs Office (Agriculture/Clemson Extension building beside courthouse) at 34 Pechman Street, Barnwell. S.C. Rep. Lonnie Hosey, who is a veteran, will be the guest speaker.

• Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville will host its annual Veterans Day program on Friday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. in the gym.

• The students, faculty and staff of Williston-Elko School District 29 extend an invitation to all veterans to be a part of their Veteran’s Day program in the middle/high school gymnasium, which is located behind the district office, on Friday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. For more information, please contact Susan Eichman at Williston-Elko Middle School.

We encourage you to attend these events, but please don’t reserve your gratitude to veterans solely on this day. We should all thank veterans whenever we get the chance throughout the year.

Thank you, veterans!