To the editor:

Each year, on Veterans Day, we pause with solemn pride and gratitude to honor this special group of Americans who, when duty called, were willing to put themselves in harm's way to defend the lives and liberty of others.But do we really honor and revere their service? And how do we exhibit and pay tribute to these men and women who have served and are serving the cause of freedom?

Veterans Day often gets sidelined by annual retail sales promotions, holiday preparations and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We don't often think of the sacrifices of our nation's veterans.

But rest assured, the veterans who have suffered from gunshot wounds, from the loss of an arm or leg, from post-traumatic stress, from beriberi or jungle rot are reminded daily. Families who have lost loved ones in the defense of this country know the meaning of sacrifice as well.

This coming Veterans Day highlights the theme "A Grateful Nation Remembers." The annual parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Murray. Veterans and their families will participate in that event along with visiting patients at the VA Medical Center and trips to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Capitol Hill or the Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery at Camp Williams.

It is my hope that all of us will take the opportunity to pause, at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, in response to former President Wilson's call, to honor our nations's war heroes with a two-minute interval of silence.

Douglas Wadsworth

Director, Department of Veterans Affairs

Salt Lake City