Letter to the Editor: Veterans Day and Maine wreaths

Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 in Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Veterans Day and Maine wreaths

Wreaths from Washington County adorn Arlington National Cemetery.

Dear Friends,

On this Veterans Day, all Mainers unite in their pride and respect for the thousands of citizens who have answered our country’s highest call. We are free, safe and strong thanks to the courage and commitment of our servicemen and women and their patient, patriotic families. Our thanks must be said, and shown.

Today, Ann and I are honored to visit with veterans at the Maine Veteran’s Home and pay our solemn respects to those who deserve it most at the Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery. But every day, my administration is actively advocating on behalf of our bravest to make the Maine they return to stronger than the one they were called from to serve. Just as they fought for our freedom, we will fight to ensure they return to the health and higher education benefits they’ve earned, that growing Maine businesses see the value of our veterans in the workplace, and that their selfless service is never second-guessed or forgotten. 

This commitment is consistent with Maine’s rich tradition of thanking our nation’s heroes. Wreaths from Washington County are placed on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery each holiday season and it is a warm welcome from a friendly Mainer that has greeted hundreds of thousands of troops — day and night — as they take those first sacred steps back on American soil at Bangor International Airport.

Today we commemorate Veterans Day, but every day, we must celebrate our veterans and their families. Our appreciation can be expressed in ways that take a minute — a nod of thanks to the driver with the Purple Heart plate or a quiet prayer for those serving overseas — or last a lifetime — like recommitting ourselves to service above self through volunteerism or charity. Above all else, we must never forget that they were willing to give anything, so we could have everything. To them, our state says thank you.

God bless our troops, God bless the state of Maine, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

Gov. Paul R. LePage and first lady Ann LePage

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