Today we honor our fallen soldiers, all the fallen soldiers who gave their lives serving in our armed forces. Whether some people want to believe it or not, gay and lesbians soldiers died serving their country too. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has been saluting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender veterans all week. They are dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance.
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation
President Woodrow Wilson
"America's lesbian and gay veterans have been on the frontlines of every military mobilization and have played an integral role in our national defense since the American Revolution," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of SLDN. "In 1993, during the debate on gays in the military, there was one area where agreement was universal: gays have served honorably and with integrity. We are a strong nation, and more free, because of the service of gay and lesbian veterans. Their service must be now be made visible and their sacrifice must be honored by allowing future generations to serve openly without the muzzle of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.""
Straight veterans will write about their experiences serving alongside lesbian and gay troops on the SLDN blog.
To give one's life for the good of the country is the highest sacrifice a person can make and no one should take it lightly. Today we honor their service and sacrifice.