Participants of an Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization that flies veterans from all corners of the country to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., jolted our collective conscience in early October.
They pushed aside the barricades during the federal government shutdown and forced their way in to the monument they had waited so long to see.
To say these weary and, in many cases, infirm veterans stormed the monument would be an exaggeration in the physical sense, but they did, indeed, storm the government.
These men and women, most in their 90s, would not allow congressional shenanigans to prevent them from seeing a memorial built to honor their service.
Many lawmakers were quick to raise the flag and rally their political troops in support of these aging servicemen and women, but that late action rang hollow.
It was the veterans themselves who provided a stark and very real reminder to the country of their sacrifice for the common good and the freedom they sought for all citizens.
After storming the beaches at Normandy or fighting the Battle of Midway, pushing aside temporary barriers on the National Mall was nothing to these veterans.
Let their act of civil defiance serve as a pointed reminder of their service and their sacrifice. Veterans Day falls on a Monday this year, but it’s the date that carries the significance.
Pause, reflect, remember and honor all who have served — and continue to serve — this country. They deserve nothing less.