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‘Green Lighting’ veterans a new, great concept

Veterans Day was celebrated this week. Although only federal, state and some county offices are closed on Nov. 11, we feel it is a day that should have the same status as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. After all, our country should not be the great nation it is without the sacrifices made by our military veterans.
Unfortunately, that status has not been awarded to our veterans. In fact, although government employees — whether they have served in the Armed Forces nor not — have the day off, not many of our veterans do.
That should be rectified. Every veteran should have a paid day off on Veterans Day, regardless if they work for the government or not.
There have been some great strides in making sure the sacrifices made by our veterans are remembered and honored. Schools, at least in Minnesota, are required to have Veterans Day programs. Some are simple, some elaborate, but they all teach children just how important veterans are to the freedoms we enjoy in America.
This year, a new movement came to the forefront — the idea of “green lighting” veterans to let them know we are thinking of them. It involves turning on green bulbs on porches and other areas on Veterans Day as a display of our support.
Here’s the concept: as veterans return from service, they blend back into the community. The person sitting next to us on a bus or a church pew may or may not be a veteran. We may not recognize one when he or she is sitting right next to us.
(Although, we’re not convinced that veterans are not recognizable in civilian clothes. Even when not in uniform, veterans seem to have a certain bearing — they stand a little taller, a little straighter).
However, a veteran can spot the green lights turned on in his or her neighborhood, city, or village, and know that his fellow countrymen hold him in their hearts with the love, respect and appreciation that he deserves.
And that’s what he or she really deserves.
We hope the “green light” movement becomes an annual tradition and, eventually, every light in America will gleam green on Veterans Day.