In observance of Veterans Day, 2016, I’d like to thank you and your loved ones who have served this magnificent country of ours.
My father, Frank Snyder, God rest his soul, was in the army during the tail end of the Korean War. He was stationed in England as a PFC who drove a half track. His eight older brothers also served in various branches of the military. The Snyder boys were patriotic brothers.
Soldiers of all branches and eras, whether serving during war or peace, deserve this collective American tribute. Our veterans have made both great and small sacrifices and achievements across the oceans and within our nation.
I’m a high school English teacher in a rural area in northwestern Pennsylvania. On certain occasions our staff and student body encourage each other to wear symbolic ribbons and bracelets, spirit wear, or specific colors to support a charity, cause, organization, or team. These simple gestures build unity, awareness, and hope, pertinent qualities that we always need, especially now.
Today, it was refreshing to see so many fellow faculty members and students donning their red, white, and blue to honor our American Veterans. After the Pledge of Allegiance, which is still a vital way to begin an American school day, we stood for a moment of silence to reflect, give thanks, and keep memories eternal.
The biggest thing I can personally do to improve our country and its government is to educate our future. I am responsible to help create productive citizens of our local community and country as a whole. Beyond our subject matter, teachers have a duty to continue to teach values like tolerance, honesty, acceptance, gratitude, perseverance, and community.
Education, peace, love, and hard work leads to liberty. There is no patriotic piggy bank great enough to pay for the freedom we gained and still have as Americans, but when we start to abuse those freedoms we put our country in debt.
After a long presidential campaign and recent days and nights of anti-patriotic bashing, we need to rebuild Team America! I know we can. Our team mascot is still the eagle, not a donkey nor an elephant. Our veterans did and do still support that eagle that flies for our flag, our democracy. We civilians need to also soar and unify. God bless us, Everyone!