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Year after year, I’ve been appalled at the low turnout for the Shirley Veterans Day observance. This holiday is to honor all military veterans, not just those unfortunate enough to be killed in action. This year, with the ceremony on a Sunday, few people could use the excuse that they were working.

Memorial Day usually has good attendance, not because people honor the occasion as the most somber day of the year, which it is, but they see it as the happy kickoff to summer, which explains the inappropriate carnival atmosphere.

Most people will use the colder November weather as their excuse for not attending the Veterans Day ceremony. Tell that to the American soldiers who froze to death in their foxholes during World War II.

Where were all the elected officials, both local and state? Only one or two bothered to show up. Apparently there is not a large enough audience for them to get face time.

I guess Veterans Day is just a major inconvenience to most people. You might have to stand there for a few minutes in a winter coat, when you could be home where it’s warm. Just how self-centered have Americans become? We can’t take an hour out of raking leaves to honor the Americans who have given so much for their country? Without the World War II veterans, we probably would not have the privilege of owning our own homes and I certainly would not be able to write this letter without the actions of all our veterans who protect our rights.

Let’s also remember that until recent years, most people who served in the military were drafted, and that included many of the combat veterans. They had no choice.

So, next year when Veterans Day rolls around, maybe, just maybe, you should think about giving an hour of your time, as inconvenient as you think that is, to honor those people who have contributed so much to our ways of life. It’s funny that almost all of the attendees at the Veterans Day ceremony are themselves veterans. If they can take the time to honor their fellow veterans, you certainly should. Shame on you!

LESLIE SEIDEL

Shirley