A time to remember their efforts

Earlier this week, the U.S.S. New York cruised into the harbor of its namesake city and paused beside the infamous Ground Zero site for a 21-gun salute. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the ship’s commissioning will take place in the Hudson Bay.

The U.S.S. New York’s stern was carefully constructed from 7.5 tons of steel pulled from the wreckage of the collapsed World Trade Center. On its bow, the ship sports “Never Forget,” honoring and remembering those who suffered on one of the most egregious days in our nation’s history.

Likewise, I urge everyone to take a moment to “never forget” this Wednesday. Never forget what countless soldiers and members of the military have granted you. Never forget the sacrifice millions have made to ensure our country’s freedom.

Our nation’s finest have endured incredible hardships, separation from friends and family, and many experienced the atrocities of war firsthand. No matter your age, race, social status or gender, you are here today thanks to the courage of others. Take the time to recognize the ones who made your life possible.

War and conflict will forever be accompanied by scrutiny and controversy. It’s never cut-and-dry, but one thing that remains is the dedication and bravery possessed by those who faced it, head on. You don’t have to agree with the courses of actions our nation has taken to recognize and appreciate the integrity and virtue that our soldiers have carried with them.

A few days ago, while speaking with Sussex County author James Diehl about the upcoming release of his newest publication, “World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware,” this occurred to me: Our nation is rich with history and abundant in valor, and you don’t have to travel far to see that. From those who witnessed the perils of war nearly a century ago to those defending our country today, and everyone in between, we are surrounded by heroes and should be eternally grateful to them. Very few people anymore can say they don’t know someone who has fought for our great country. Some know those valiant individuals personally. Others are those unvaunted heroes.

Let us recognize and pay our respect to these men and women without whom our lives would not be this favorable, this gratifying, this free. Let us honor and remember the ones who cannot be with us today, who never looked back but marched on with the pride of our nation on their minds and the strength of our prayers in their hearts.