by Grant Anderson
Monday was Veterans Day. It is not, as many people think, “Veteran’s Day”, but a day to collectively remember all those who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America. Veterans are widely recognized in America as being soldiers of freedom and making sacrifices for this country, but delving deeper into what these phrases mean reveals a character and motivation for protecting this country that few people possess. Think about the job you have – whether it be as a researcher or as a garbage man – you will most likely not give your life in order to protect your work. The call of duty for a soldier lies way beyond the call of duty for any other job – there is a much greater chance that a soldier will lose their life at work than in any other profession. To me, this is unfathomable. Besides their lives, another sacrifice is oftentimes not mentioned – time away from home. The time soldiers spend away from those they love is much longer than I would ever be able to manage. Many college students are homesick during their first few months, but soldiers are away for years because they have been called to protect those they love.
The Iowa State Memorial Union’s Gold Star Hall displays hundreds of names that are carved in the limestone. These people all attended or are affiliated with Iowa State, and they all died in combat protecting this country. This noble and sanctified hall is a very calming and humbling place to visit during quiet times, especially at night. It proudly displays the names of those who died with honor and valor protecting the country they loved. I suggest stopping by for just a little bit to think about the incredible sacrifices made by millions of soldiers throughout this country we call home.
I am also including a link to a wonderful video, which will probably make you cry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dKWq0CzK-k