Veterans Day is an important time to honor military veterans and to remember what unites us as Americans.

There are plenty of issues that divide us. We align with different political parties, and we hold disparate views on mask mandates, vaccination requirements, quarantines and countless other issues.

Cable news and social media allow the most extreme voices to dominate the conversation and frame those on the other side as the enemy.

Veterans know that in a true battle the stakes are much higher. In the military, you’re all on the same team, in spite of any disagreements.

The same varied opinions exist in the military, but members of a unit focus on working together to complete a mission. They focus on what unites them, not on what divides them.

In most years, Veterans Day comes about a week after Election Day, and it seems fitting that we focus on unity so soon after we’ve been reminded of our differences.

In contrast to Memorial Day, on which we remember those who have died in service to our country, Veterans Day is a time to honor those who are still with us.

These men and women who have put their lives on the line for the defense of our nation come from all walks of life, all ethnicities, genders, sexual identities, religious beliefs and political alignments.

They are volunteers and draftees. Some are our co-workers, and some are homeless. Some were born in the United States and others immigrated here. Some have taken their military training and applied it to build a successful life in the civilian world, but others struggle with addiction, poverty and mental health issues.

Veterans have worked to protect the American way of life for liberals and conservatives, for the religious and the non-religious.

They are America’s veterans, and they represent every facet of American life. They know that the core values of America are worth fighting for, and that the fight would be a losing battle without solid teamwork.

This is an example they set for all of us and a lesson we should take to heart this Veterans Day.

We encourage all of our readers to thank a veteran today. When you do, remember to listen to what they have to say. They may have some insight that will help us heal a fractured nation.

To military veterans in our communities and throughout the Hoosier state, we salute you and wish you peace and happiness on this day and every day.

— The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

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