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Sen. Rick Brattin’s Capitol Report for the Week of Nov. 7

November 11 is not just not another day. Sure, some may see it as a day off work or a day you can get a good deal at a store. But, that’s not what Nov. 11 is about. Veterans Day is a day to honor the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces.

It’s so much more than that, though. Veterans Day is a reminder of the cost of freedom. Inscribed on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., are the words “freedom is not free.” How true that is. The freedom of every American – man or woman, white or black, Red or Blue – was paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of America’s veterans.

This day especially hits home for me. I was once a young American who volunteered for the Marine Corps after 9/11. Like so many of my brothers in the Corps, I volunteered because I didn’t want the sacrifice of 3,000 Americans to be in vain and to show our enemies that America doesn’t back down. I served alongside some of the bravest men I’ve known. They didn’t sign up for glory and they definitely didn’t volunteer for the money or the recognition. They did it for God and Country. They didn’t ask for a lot. But as a state and nation, we owe them much.

That’s really the point of Veterans Day, isn’t it? The sacrifice of our men and women in uniform deserves our respect and our admiration. It certainly deserves a whole lot more than one day out of the year. It’s easy to take it all for granted, the freedom and liberty we have in our country. We see that every day with people bickering over trivialities or taking offense at the slightest provocations, real or imagined. That’s a luxury in a country as prosperous and blessed as ours. It would do our country some good to think of those soldiers over our 250 years of history who sat in the foxhole, stormed a defensive line, or paid the ultimate price so we could sit comfortably in our homes or go to church on Sunday.

That’s what Veterans Day is about.

So, on Veterans Day – and every day – let us take time to say “thank you for your service” to all of the nearly 20 million veterans still living in the U.S. and say a prayer of thanks for the over one million veterans who gave their lives defending our freedom. Our country is divided for many reasons right now but there is something that every American should be able to agree on – gratitude to those who serve. I think we’re blessed in that regard in Missouri. When I look at our state, especially our area, and see how our people answer the call of freedom to defend our country and how Missourians treat our troops when they return home, there’s no doubt in mind we live in a blessed place and the greatest country on earth.

We shouldn’t ever forget that or who we owe a debt of gratitude for it.

If you have any ideas, questions and concern, please feel free to contact me at the State Capitol: (573) 751-2108, rick.brattin@senate.mo.gov or by writing to Sen. Rick Brattin, Missouri State Capitol, Room 331, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

God bless and thank you for the opportunity to work for you in the Missouri Senate.