Patriot’s Day

These are wise words from the Columbus VA Director: Today was officially designated by Congress in 2001 as Patriot Day, but I think all of us refer to it as “9/11.”  It is a day that stirs memories and strong emotions.  We remember where we were that morning, what we saw, and the horror over the many lives lost.

In commemorations in NYC, Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, and around the country, those lives will be remembered and mourned.  We will also remember the heroism of the passengers of Flight 93 and of the fire fighters and police who saved so many at the twin towers and died while trying to save more.

My thoughts also turn to the long Global War on Terrorism that began that day, and the many service men and women who have taken part in it.  They answered their nation’s call.  Their service and sacrifice has made the world and this country safer and more secure.  They brought down tyrants and sponsors of terrorism and restored freedom to millions of people around the globe.

Many of the Veterans whom we serve here in Ohio bear the scars of that war.  For many, their wounds and memories are still fresh.  They are an indelible reminder of why our work in the VA is so important.  The VA is uniquely suited to provide the care that these men and women, and all our Veterans, need.  We will not think of them as just patients in our system, but as heroes whose sacrifice we honor.  In turn, that makes our service to them all the more meaningful.

This is a solemn day; a day to remember those who were lost and those still with us.  It should also be a time for reflecting upon the things that bring us together as Americans: service to each other, devotion to our principles, and a persistent drive to make the world better.  That’s why Patriot Day really is the right name. 

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Mickale Bates

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