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Kolb: Honoring our Veterans and their families

On November 11 we celebrate Veterans Day and honor the brave men and women in the military for everything they do to protect and defend our freedoms. November is also National Military Family Appreciation Month, when we recognize the hardships a military family endures while the service member is deployed and away from home.

As the father, son, brother and uncle of U.S. military veterans, I will always hold a profound appreciation for those who have protected our freedoms. There are nearly 1 million military veterans in New York State who have made sacrifices that few of us can imagine, and their families spend months, sometimes years, missing them and worrying about their safety.

VETERANS DAY

November 11 was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the armistice that ended hostilities with Germany after World War I; however, when the “War to end all Wars” was followed by World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the day was renamed Veterans Day to honor all those who fought in foreign wars.

There are many ways to honor those who have fought for our country. The Geneva’s Veterans Day ceremony will be held at the Army National Guard Armory, for the fourth straight year, on Main St. in Geneva at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 11. Attendees will be able to tour the armory for free. The ceremony will include remarks from veterans and local officials, musical performances and the story of the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table.

My alma mater, Finger Lakes Community College, is having a Veterans Day Ceremony where college president and retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Nye will be speaking. Taking place nationwide, the Greenlight A Vet campaign aims to establish visible support for veterans by replacing a white light bulb in an outside light or visible location with a green bulb.

MILITARY FAMILY APPRECIATION MONTH

Each year, our President signs a proclamation honoring the families of veterans declaring November Military Family Appreciation Month. The family of a service member goes through a great deal of hardship while their loved one is on deployment. Imagine one parent being responsible for all the bills, caring for the children, taking care of the home and doing all the things necessary to maintain a stable home environment so the service member can concentrate on their mission. On top of all that, the parent at home worries about their loved one and children have one less parent at milestone events.

On Veterans Day, it is important that we take time to recognize our veterans for all they do for us, their sacrifices and the burdens of serving overseas they carry with them when they come home. Throughout the month, take time to appreciate all the hardships our military families endure.

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