May the spirit of Veterans Day bring us back together

From local classrooms to parade routes and National Football League stadiums nationwide, the nation’s veterans were highlighted respectfully for several days in the past week. With Veteran’s Day falling on a Saturday, the observance highlighted several days, not just one, this year.

Given the divisive mood of our country – much of it a slap in the face of our veterans – the special recognition was refreshing.

And still, in our view, it was not enough.

The consciousness of what our military personnel do daily for our country and the world – and what they have done for centuries – deserves a daily presence rather than an annual observance.

It was especially good to see the National Anthem at NFL stadiums be the source of patriotic celebration rather than players taking a knee. It’s a start toward closing emotional wounds from weeks of out-of-place protesting by players.

While it’s true the protests were directed more toward a call for racial equality and better understanding between police and minorities, any shunning of the National Anthem is a swipe – intended or not – at the people who have defended that flag.

We hope the glory of this past week’s observances creates a new level of determination to remember that – beyond our differences – we are all Americans who should always be mindful of those who protect us, from service personnel at home and abroad to policemen around the corner.

Of course, we need to work on any differences we have. But the place to do that is not a workplace, but face-to-face on our own time with those we have the differences with. Community halls, public meetings and our homes are the places where we need to turn conflict into understanding.

Hopefully, the spirit of this past week will be the fuse that sparks a more correct handling of necessary dialogue to solve our differences. We Americans have always been able to improve ourselves through meaningful exchanges rather than divisive disrespect. We’ve got to get back to that – all of us – and remember the pillars that allow us to solve our problems the correct way.