Opinion

Our View | Thank a veteran today and every day

We couldn’t possibly cover all the Veterans Day events throughout the county today, and that’s a good problem to have.

People in Centre County support their veterans and, on this day, that support goes public with celebrations, remembrances and educational opportunities for even the youngest among us.

And that is how it should be.

Veterans will eat free today at several restaurants. They can grab a turkey sandwich at Sheetz or a cup of coffee at Starbucks or they can enjoy red, white and blue pancakes at Denny’s as a thank-you for their service — all free of charge.

Businesses get it. And so do educators.

The Penns Valley Area High School band will perform on the county courthouse steps today. And even the students who aren’t participating in that annual event will color the day by wearing red, white and blue to school throughout the district.

At Penn State, Mental Health and Wellness Week events will include a panel discussion about stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Pleasant Gap American Legion will celebrate veterans with a Post Everlasting ceremony this evening.

And at NHS School in State College, a full day of lessons and activities are planned.

Students there will learn about the history and symbolism of the American flag, about the branches of the military and their roles, about the meaning of yellow ribbons and, of course, about Veterans Day.

They’ll also collect items for care packages to be sent to active-duty military overseas. That, in and of itself, is a teachable moment. We learn by doing, and when children participate in such endeavors as collecting toothbrushes and magazines for our troops, they have skin in the game and, years from now, will remember the gift of remembering those who serve.

Veterans Day is an opportunity to teach children about the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices of others. We must continue to teach about serving — and sacrificing for — this great country.

And all over Centre County — from meeting veterans at Marion-Walker Elementary School on Monday to Penn State’s Military Appreciation Day game against Temple on Saturday — there are teachable moments for all of us.

And the lesson never gets old: Remember the veterans not just today but every day. And thank them for their selfless service.

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