Our view: Today is a time to say thanks to our service veterans. One way we can salute them is to endeavor to be more like them in our lives.

Why we believe that: There’s so much that divides our country today. And the language our elected leaders use to address one another is disdainful and disgraceful.

We seem to forget we are all Americans.

Today, in particular, is a day to remember that’s who we are.

The stories of the veterans that are shared throughout today’s edition and in our 36-page special section make that abundantly clear. When you serve in the military, you do not serve as a Republican or Democrat. You do not serve as a Christian or an atheist. And you do not serve as a Caucasian, African American or Latino.

You serve as an American.

When 98-year-old Elizabeth Johnson, a black woman who served in World War II, was asked about the best advice she received, her answer was simple yet vital: Learn how to obey orders.

And she shared this advice: “I would say that no matter who they are – whether rich, poor or whatever – if they are called to serve in the U.S. Army, they should do it.”

We agree, Elizabeth. We agree.

In conclusion: We salute our veterans today. Some came home from war as heroes. Some came home to a lack of respect when our nation was in tumult.

Some came home with scars that remain.

But they all came home as Americans.

We would do well to follow that example in our daily lives while endeavoring to focus on the ties that bind us together as a nation rather than those that would separate us.

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