Amid ever-increasing commercialism of both professional sports and the holiday season in general, this is sobering to see. My two favorite NFL teams will be battling it out today, in the latest in a long-standing tradition of AFC East grudge matches. But the question of whether the New England Patriots can defeat the Buffalo Bills pales in comparison to the awesome gravity of Veteran’s Day itself, and its tribute to the real-world battles and wars fought outside relatively small arenas like Gillette Stadium, so that we Americans can continue to enjoy our very way of life.
The Patriots football organization has dedicated a permanently empty seat, above their south endzone, to American POWs and MIAs since World War I.
For those who will never get the opportunity to visit this small but important shrine, click and read the plaque in enlargement. And take a moment today to acknowledge the veterans around you, living or dead, no matter what their age, service or conflict affiliation, length of service, or discharge status. None of us wants war for any reason, right or wrong, and those who fight, and stand ready to fight, shoulder that burden for all of us.