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29-year-old cat in Sweden is thought to be the oldest in the world. Study says that climate played a role in the spread of the plague in medi- eval Europe. Texas boy received a kidney transplant after his teacher agreed to be his donor. Salt Creek Attic Unique Handcrafted Treasures Florals - Country Decor Antiques & So Much More Silk Florals Speak Wonders Seasonal Bouquets Holidays Weddings Receptions Anniversary Thank You Graduation Bereavement 106 S. Washington Mt. Pulaski Tues-Fri 10-4 & Sat 9-1 792 5117 Eddie Combs of Mt. Pulaski Is Your Culligan Man For Culligan Water Products Water Softeners -Iron Filters Bottled Water 735'4450 318 N. Chicago St. - Lincoln 10 Why Veterans are Important to our Nation's i History and Future Bradford Walsh Importance, importance for the future, veterans of foreign wars who've given their life and liberty to defend a country so grateful for their freedom, real men and wom- en with feelings, likes and dislikes just like you and I. Living souls with human emotion, offering to protect those who are dear to them. America's most vital breed of citi- zen is often overlooked and gone un-seen. There is no explanation, no justification to describe why this happens. Veterans belong to history, they belong to the future, for if they should not, there may not be a future. On the night of December 19th, 1944, corporal Arnold "Mike" Koehler, an American infantry soldier from Illinois, was stabbed in the leg and taken captive by the German opposition during the battle of the Bulge. For almost five months Koehler survived in his internment camp, and persisted to live until his liberation on April 25th, 1945. Koehler was awarded several honors including the Vic- tory Ribbon, American Theatre Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon, Three Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Med- al, Purple Heart, and the Overseas Bar. Stories like these are ones you will never hear directly from anyone but a veteran. Stories like these allow me to be thankful for the sun shining and the wind blow- ing, but even more so thankful for my freedom, and the freedom of those around me. A country built on the basic principles that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creators with certain unalien- able rights, rights that allow free- dom. Freedom, a loose term grant- ing some sort of intellectual peace, a term that allows man to prosper as he pleases, and to reap the ben- efits that life has to offer. Freedom, a gift from the men and women who gave their lives to achieve another kind of peace. Veterans go celebrated on the eleventh of No- vember each year to comfiaemo- rate their service. Veterans day ensures a courtesy that should be performed not only on the eleventh of November, but every day of the week. Recognizing those who have fought hard for the safety of a nation so conceived in liberty is but a small token of gratitude that should be shown. Freedom granting the pursuit of life, liberty, and happines s is such a beautiful concept, a concept that is real. One that lives and breaths in the heart of every hard work- ing American. To be an American is to be the living proof that free- dom exists, but comes at a heavy price, the price of blood. 405,399 total American lives were lost as a result of world war two. 58,209 as a result of the Vietnam War con- flict, and the numbers go on and on. Freedom is not free; the inde- pendence of a nation is a long de- tailed process with sacrifices made by the most honorable of souls. At Normandy beach, At Khe Sanh, and even in Afghanistan, the price raises and raises, day after day. Koehler passed away at the age of 89, April 25, 2012, and was freed for a second time. As the bugle sounded the sweet melody of taps the old soldier went home for good. With open arms his fall- en brothers welcomed him into the final embrace. Marked with a stone next to his wife Bernice, The casket was lowered down into the dark earth, and covered to seal the final goodbye. Koehler was a dear family friend, and I only wish I had more time to find out what a true hero he really is. The impor- tance of a veteran is a monumen- tal honor no average person can fathom, than to have served and died in defense of the country you love. Veterans stories must be ac- counted for and told, so that gener- ations to come know why they live in the greatest country on earth. God bless America, and God bless the men and women of our armed forces. Andrew Moody As an American citizen I am en- titled to certain rights given to me by the authoritative figures of The United States of America. Life... liberty.., and the pursuit of happi- ness... I am entitled to live a life that is fulfilling to me as an indi- vidual under the law of this great nation and do with it what I please because I have been blessed with that right. As a nation we have much to be thankful for and much that we take for granted. We see children starv- ing just across the ocean or even in our neighborhoods. The govern- ment provides us with programs to fight domestic hunger problems and other forms of poverty, but we as Americans still fail to realize that we have so much that others do not have. We see terrorism both here and in foreign countries that cause destruction of civilized areas and sometimes lives, yet still we don't always see that we are better pro- tected and better prepared than others. We have so much here that we fail to see as anything less than what is expected and I fear that many don't know why. The reason is a combination of bravery, love, and sacrifice. We commonly refer to them as veterans. Veterans are men and women who put their lives on the line for us on a daily basis. They are super- heroes that fight for our freedoms. They have fought for us in the past, they are fighting for us now, and they will continue to fight for us in the future. It is a great thing that they do and it is very impor- tant that we see their impact on this nation. m i.i P to @ ol Con 'td Next Page "