The following Letter to the Editor, in honor of Veterans Day, November 11th, 2014, submitted by Queens Village Republican Club member, Fred Bedell was published in the Queens Ledger and Queens Tribune.
November 11th is the day to think about our honored veterans. For 238 years they have fought to defend those freedoms we hold most dear. I myself served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam era and was proud to have done so. This part of my life was one of the proudest of my life. I felt I was serving the greater good and preserving democracy in the free world.
Veterans Day is a time to remember all veterans. We need to remember all those who gave their lives and the many veterans who lost limbs, hearing and sight, not to mention those who are still suffering from various mental conditions from being in combat. These veterans who have served our nation did so with pride and devotion to duty so that we might have those freedoms we enjoy today. We also need to salute our brave men and women who are still serving in Afghanistan and many other parts of the globe.
This Veterans Day I find myself thinking what it means to be an American. The answer is crystal clear, and that is the pride to live in a country that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and to speak our minds. Let us not forget the freedom to vote for our future leaders without fear. Our system is not perfect, but still is the greatest in the world. But these freedoms do not come without a price. They come with great personal sacrifice from those who leave family, friends, and jobs to serve the greater good.
I hope this Veterans Day there will be many flags flying in support of our brave men and women who are still serving this great nation of ours. Remember the words of our first commander-in-chief, George Washington, who said,” The willingness with which our young people will fight in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.” That was true back than and is so true today. I ask all who read this letter to call a veteran you might know and say thank you for a job well done. May God Bless America on this day we call Veterans Day.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village