To the editor:

This presidential election year has generated many debates about patriotism, what it is and who has it. It is often too easy to wave the flag in support of political campaigns, to espouse lofty ideals and national objectives.It is easier to orate on the blessings of freedom than to demonstrate a personal commitment and willingness to protect and extend this right for coming generations. This is the type of personal commitment our nation's veterans made in serving their country. So it is appropriate, now that the election is over, to honor those who are true patriots - America's veterans.

It is those veterans who served to protect our freedoms that we recognize and thank on Veterans Day. Without their sacrifices, there may not have been any opportunity for debate; for citizens to choose candidates to serve in government, there may have been no elections.

Many men and women gave their lives fighting. Many others left pieces of themselves, either physically or psychically, in some foreign land. Still others gave up part of their lives, their families, their careers . . . all of this for their country and that for which it stands.

On this Veterans Day 1988, let us look to this nation's veterans, acknowledge their great service to all of us who cherish freedom and the United States. But, do something more than celebrate the holiday; visit a hospitalized veteran; volunteer to assist disabled veterans; teach your children about the sacrifices of our nation's veterans during the wars in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, and Lebanon.

Only through active participation and on-going commitment can we as a nation retain those attributes which enable us to remain free, free to pursue our lives and to guide our own futures.

Douglas Wadsworth


Veterans Administration