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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Nov 12, 2009

It was good to see people turn out in both Armstrong and Estherville on Wednesday, Veterans Day, to honor the veterans who have served our country.

Like every Veterans Day, thoughts turned toward the fallen – those who never returned from wars on foreign soil.

Fortunately, we live in a place and a time in which veterans are still honored. Thank God, we are beyond the slurs and stigmas that peaceniks and hippies cast at our men in uniform in the 1960s. We also live in Iowa, a place where military service is still considered an honor.

It was heartwarming to hear the Pledge of Allegiance complete with the words “under God” at the Armstrong-Ringsted High School gym on Veterans Day. In many parts of our nation, unfortunately, the words “under God” would be removed from the Pledge. Even more incredibly, the Pledge itself would be removed from public schools.

It was also good to see a significantly larger group of people turn out at the World War I monument in Library Square in Estherville than showed last year. Hopefully, everyone who came this year will bring a friend to the next Veterans Day observance.

But we’re a little different in Iowa – some might say odd.

We’re odd because we still believe in God.

We’re odd because we still see military service as an honor, not an obligation.

We’re odd because we still place our hands over our hearts or salute when the flag passes.

We’re odd because we all pause with a bit of awe and respect when we see someone in uniform. You know when you’re in Iowa when a CEO regards a Marine private with dignity and respect.

We’re odd because we’re not too cold or calloused to shed some tears on days like Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

We’re odd when as parents we bust our buttons with pride when we see our son or daughter leave on the bus or plane for the recruit depot. And those are tears of pride, by the way, and not of remorse or regret.

Isn’t it great to be odd and to be in Iowa?