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Today is a special day for many who have lost loved ones who have served our country. In addition to the many military members, past, present, and future, the definition of conflict has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Now, in addition to our military, we must also celebrate those first responders and everyday citizens that responded when called upon at the moment.

Our world is no longer as safe as it was. All societies are now exposed to a different kind of evil and cowardice–an evil that plants a bomb at a concert, flies a plane into a building, or drives a truck into a crowd of shoppers. This ideology is not about pluralism, but more about “it’s our way or the highway”, which is demonstrated by heinous acts across the globe. This evil is not limited to one race, one ethnicity, or one country. It is a new paradigm that allows a few to terrorize the majority of people who only want peace and security for their families, friends, and loved ones.

Take a few moments today to honor the first responders and military across the planet for the sacrifices they have made for their countries, the growing number of victims to terror, and the many peoples who have been the victim of a natural disaster. Each of you has made a difference in another person’s life.

As an Army veteran of 21 years, I salute all of my brothers and sisters who have served, are serving, or will serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. Your sacrifices will be remembered forever.

Dave Gardner

SFC, Army Retired