The right to vote, express opinions, agree or disagree are hallmarks of our democracy that have been protected by the men and women in the armed services.

Every year we honor veterans of the United States Armed Forces on Nov. 11 for their dedication, service to country and innumerable sacrifices. This year is no exception.

But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Veterans Day on Wednesday was celebrated differently with virtual and private tributes to those who have served.

History tells us that Veterans Day coincides with remembrance days celebrated in other countries, marking the anniversary of the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, ending what has come to be known as the Great War, but the fighting had already stopped on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Thus Nov. 11 is when we mark the holiday.

Here in the U.S., it continues to be a celebration to honor men and women for their patriotism, love of country, willingness to protect us and selfless sacrifices to keep our country free. It is also a time for thoughtful reflection. Their service to our country should not be taken for granted. Many have put their lives on the line so all of us can be free to vote and free to express our opinions, practice whatever religion we choose, walk down any street we like and pursue our passions and goals.

We honor all of the men and women who have proudly worn the uniform of our country.

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