Veterans, students find common ground

Sunday, October 28, 2001

The daylong celebration known as Generations in Valor has now come and gone, leaving in its wake a tremendously positive legacy for our entire region.

Students from as far away as Pemiscot County and the Fox School District in Arnold attended in large numbers, soaking up the patriotism, the military lore and the contact with veterans and military recruiters alike.

Nearly 1,000 students and more than 100 veterans from many of our wars were there, celebrating the sacrifice, the valor and the martial virtues so necessary to preserving the American way of life.

Recent decades might seem to have made remote the need for these virtues, as our military actions of the last 20 years tended to be short actions in places such as Grenada, Haiti and the like.

Even the large-scale deployments of Desert Storm, a decade ago, featured a 45-day air war watched by Americans on cable TV followed by a few days of mopping up with the ground invasion. It seemed as if we could contract out military service to a few who wanted it, while the great majority needn't bother.

All that changed on Sept. 11.

The stunning terror attacks that day, in all likelihood the greatest loss of life and property on American soil in all our wars, brought home the reality of death and destruction on the home front.

These sneak attacks made all the more pressing the need for such as Generations in Valor, with its timeless reminder of the ancient wisdom: If you want peace, prepare for war.

That message seems to have found a ready and willing group of listeners in the young people who flocked into the Show Me Center last Wednesday.

We salute each and every one of the dedicated organizers, contributors and volunteers who helped bring it off.

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