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One veteran’s view on honoring sacrifice every day

For Marine Corps veteran Matt Steinerman, Veterans Day is a good time to remember exactl what all the blood, sweat and tears of our service members was for.

“Freedom,” Steinerman said. “Freedom has done so much for this country and the world in general. I feel like some people might take it for granted.”

Steinerman spoke to a small crowd at his alma mater, Naugatuck Valley Community College, on Thursday. The school’s Veterans Affairs Office and Veterans Club have hosted the annual event for the last decade to recognize veteran students and alumni.

Steinerman believes that freedom has allowed America to amass wealth, build free markets and create innovation. Freedom, he said, still exists because of the work of individual service members. He reminded audience members to think about freedom in the mundanity of life.

“Today, think about these millions of veterans whenever you think of your way of life, when you’re walking through the halls of this building, think of them,” Steinerman said. “When you drive home freely and there’s nobody stopping you from doing whatever you wanna do, think of them.”

Steinerman was a technician on light armored vehicles during his service. Now he manages people doing similar work on trucks in Wallingford. He was the Veterans Club president while at Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Campus minister Dan Matthews held one of many moments of silence during the event. He played the recording of the last seconds of World War I. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, guns and cannons on all sides of the battlefield stopped. It was first known as Armistice Day. In 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day.

The Naugatuck Valley Chorale group also paid respect to those who served through song, with a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. She loves hearing what you thought of her stories or story ideas you have so please email her at aoshinskie@ctpublic.org.

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