It is fundamentally important that we remember. The freedoms that make our country what it is have not come easily. Countless women and men have served our country throughout its history to uphold the values that make the United States what it is today. From the sands of Iwo Jima to the beaches of Normandy, to the jungles in the Philippines and Vietnam, and most recently in the desserts of the Middle East, members of our armed forces have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

To serve one’s country in defense of liberty and justice is a calling that many men and women of all races and creeds have answered, many of whom have given the ultimate sacrifice. It is this service to the United States that we honor on Veterans Day, and salute them for the sacrifices they have made. Veterans should be recognized as the heroes they are and given the respect they deserve.

While November 11 is the official day to celebrate and honor all those who have served in the armed forces, we would be remiss to remember their service just one day of the year. The United States would not be what it is today without the service of our veterans, and as such, we should honor their service by thanking them throughout the year. The freedoms that we hold dearly as Americans have come at a great cost; those who have served know this first-hand. On this Veterans Day, I hope we will all take some time to seriously reflect upon the importance of their contributions.

We have many veterans that we call neighbors. Some I know, including Deb Mueller, Danny Carvajal, Ed Beck, Jim Johnson Jr., Dr. Ralph Wells and Raymond Garcia; many I have yet to meet. But the King William Association salutes each one of them.

As you sit at the table to break bread with family and friends this Thanksgiving Day, please remember that some of our troops are still in harm’s way. Keep them in your thoughts and close to your hearts. Have a safe, joyous and bountiful holiday.

Just one last word: I want our membership to understand that we are still in a dialog mode with HEB regading the closure of S. Main Ave. We consider HEB to be an model corporate partner to the King William Fair and we greatly appreciate their generous support for many important community needs throughout San Antonio. We are also optomistic that the important issues of the proposed closure of S. Main Avenue and the downtown grocery store will be resolved through open communication and that we will be able to reach solutions that are of mutual benefit to all stakeholders