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Putting honor back into respect

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Respect is something we all expect, but know the heartless feeling of not being respected. There are many examples of disrespect around us each day. Cussing, vulgarity disguised as free expression, insensitivity, self-righteousness and assumptions made based on one's skin color, language and the family they are born into. Just because the world is full of disrespect doesn't mean you have to become disrespectful. Respect, like all virtues, is taught in the home and mentored by our parents, teachers and youth leaders.

Veteran's Day offers us an opportunity to practice showing respect to those who secure our freedom, risking their lives and sacrificing the comforts we enjoy each day. Veterans deserve our respect and our gratitude. Kindness and politeness are never out of style and are part of being respectful. If you have forgotten or become calloused with the world's insensitivity, today is a great day to begin showing your respect for people who put their life on the line for you to continue living yours.

Here are suggestions for showing respect to our veterans today and every day.

1. When you see a military person, walk over to them, extend your hand and tell them, "Thank You." Nothing more is needed, everyone understands and appreciates gratitude.

2. Remain open-minded with military personal. Remember, they don't decide or choose the wars; they work and serve the military.

3. Display a United States flag at your home. Veterans and military personal serve and have served our country, and a flag represents honor and respect to them.

4. Support the family of military and veterans. You can do this with numerous small activities. Baking, writing letters of support, donating to charities in their honor, and helping them when they return through volunteer organizations.

5. Pray for our military families, and use social media to let them know they are being prayed for. FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram can be used to help build up and empower others just as it can tear them apart.

6. Listen to veterans. We are blessed with having older veterans alive with their story from wars long ago. No matter what war or year they served, their story may seem boring or redundant to the young. Listening is the greatest sign of respect you can afford another person. Teach your children to listen by setting an example and being a patient, respectful listener.

Both of my parents were veterans. Both of them left our family with a flag on their casket and military taps played at their funeral. For my brothers and sisters, we understood their commitment and honor in serving their country, and this expanded our own respect and honor for our country. The United States of America has its challenges and problems, but we also have freedom. The men and women who risk their lives to afford us ours deserve our utmost respect today and all days. Respect for others comes from a deep place within each of us that begins with self-respect and honor for life.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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