Unfortunately, the complexities of life in today’s America have brought the military into the political forefront, making it a challenge for this crucial national institution to stay above the fray of day-to-day politics. This Veterans Day, we must honor everyone who has served and make every attempt to fight the politicization of the United States Armed Forces.
For example, veterans have been used recently as moral authorities in the debate over standing for the national anthem during football games. Many believe athletes kneeling is a proverbial “slap in the face” of those who have fought and served. Others, including some who have donned the uniform, say peaceful protests such as kneeling during the anthem is exactly what they have fought for in the first place. It’s a hot political potato, with no sign of cooling down any time soon.
This past week, a federal court blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban transgender individuals from enlisting or serving in the military — at least, for the time being. The judge ruled that the ban cannot be enforced while the case is being reviewed in court. To many, this is seen as a form of discrimination. To others, it’s a matter of military readiness. Either way, it’s another hot political potato, and there’s no sign of it simmering.
Issues such as these threaten to undermine the military’s rightful place above the political divide. One thing on which the vast majority can agree is that our military has immense respect from the populace it protects. And that’s why this Veterans Day is so special.
Both Wellington and Royal Palm Beach have commemorations planned to honor those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The events will both take place Saturday, Nov. 11. And if you plan accordingly, you can take part in both events.
Wellington’s begins with a parade at 8:15 a.m. starting at the Wellington Municipal Complex (12300 W. Forest Hill Blvd.), which will proceed to the Wellington Veterans Memorial at the corner of Forest Hill and South Shore boulevards. The parade will be followed by a Veterans Day ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Veterans are invited to walk in the parade. If you are an active service member or a retired veteran attending the event, you will have an opportunity to register at the Wellington tent that morning to be recognized during the ceremony. For more information on the Wellington parade and ceremony, call (561) 753-2484, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov or contact American Legion Chris Reyka Memorial Wellington Post 390 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal Palm Beach will hold its candlelight vigil commemoration at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Park amphitheater, located at 1036 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. Veterans who wish to be recognized at the ceremony are asked to call (561) 753-1232 to be placed on the list. There will be an opportunity to be added before the ceremony for those who don’t call ahead of time. For more information about the Royal Palm Beach candlelight service, call (561) 753-1232 or visit www.royalpalmbeach.com.
Regardless of how you perceive current events, let’s show our gratitude and respect for the service of our veterans. They have earned it — every one of them.