We wholeheartedly support the proposal put forth by Ed Gazmen of the Maui County Veterans Council to stage a Veterans Day Parade this year - the first one in three decades.
Gazmen, a Vietnam-era veteran, will host an organizational meeting next Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at 35 Lunalilo St. in Wailuku. Gazmen can be reached at 276-8373 for those seeking more information.
The veterans of our last four conflicts - Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan - have not been treated with anywhere near the veneration those who served in World War I and World War II were. The absence of a Veterans Day Parade for 30 years is simple proof of that.
Perhaps it is because there was no clear-cut victory in those conflicts that the American public chooses not to publicly honor those who served. But the sacrifice of those veterans was every bit as large as those who served in the "Great War."
In fact, as we hear of the multiple deployments of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is tempting to say the mental anguish might be greater than that endured by WWII vets. Then as we see the mutilation and multiple amputations caused by the use of improvised explosive devices in those Middle Eastern conflicts, it is impossible to overstate the physical sacrifice of those serving there.
In short, it is time for we the public to honor those soldiers, along with the vets from Vietnam, Korea and WWII. All fought - or are still fighting - for our country and for us.
One does not have to agree with a war to honor those who sacrifice for the United States. Gazmen's proposal is a good reminder that it is past time to say "Thanks" to those who serve.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.