It’s unfortunate that Americans mostly set aside but two days of the year to remember the service of members of its military.

Memorial Day, on the last Monday of May, is a somber occasion when we remember those members of the U.S. military who died in defense of their country.

Veterans Day, celebrated annually on Nov. 11, was originally known as Armistace Day in recognition of the official end of World War I.

It is now an opportunity for Americans from all walks of life to pay their respects to all those who served — be they dead or alive.

There will be several official events marking Veterans Day in Ashtabula County today.

Veterans always attend such events, often in uniform. We suggest that those who are grateful for the contributions of these men and women pick an event near them and actively thank them  for the freedoms we all enjoy as a result of their commitment to the U.S. armed services.

Here are a few such events today:

• Ashtabula’s Veterans Day ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park, featuring a U.S. Air Force veteran and the color guard from the Ashtabula American Legion.

• The Ashtabula Elks Lakefront Lodge will host a free dinner for veterans from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and family members pay $6 each. 

• The city of Conneaut, in conjunction with civic organizations, schools and churches, is sponsoring a parade and Veterans Day program. A parade will begin from the Conneaut American Legion at 10:45 a.m. and arrive at the city’s war memorial at 11 a.m.

• The Andover American Legion is planning an 11 a.m. service on the square in Andover.

• A Veterans Day program is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Greenlawn Memory Gardens in Kingsville Township.

• A potluck Veterans Day dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Orwell American Legion and is open to the public. A Veterans Day program will follow at 7 p.m.

 • The Pymatuning Valley Primary School will host a Veterans Day concert scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pymatuning Valley Veterans Memorial Performing Arts Center.

Showing our gratitude to veterans at any of these worthwhile events is one small way to acknowledge their service to America.

It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to those we can no longer thank in person.

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