Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
Two important days to our republic are in early November—Election Day, this year on November 8, followed closely by Veterans Day on November 11. It is fitting we honor veterans and servicemembers so close to Election Day. Our right as Americans to self-governance, carried out through voting, has been secured by the bravery, sacrifice and strength of the extraordinary Americans we honor on Veterans Day. Idahoans can be proud that more than 115,000 veterans choose to make Idaho their home.
Exercising our individual right and responsibility to vote ensures we have a voice in how our government serves us. Our country’s Founders affirmed the central role of self-governance in the formation of our country in the Declaration of Independence when they asserted that to secure our freedoms our government must derive its just powers from “the consent of the governed.” Voting is an important way we participate in our system of self-governance. Participating in the electoral process, including learning about candidates and issues, is an essential part of all of our responsibility to shape the direction of our great country. The official voting information website for the state of Idaho can be accessed at www.idahovotes.gov.
As Americans exercise their right to vote, they should be mindful of the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country to defend our freedoms, including the right to vote, that we hold dear. These costs are shared by the veterans and their families who continue to shoulder the weight of their service and our country’s admirable and heavy ideals. Generations of America’s veterans have given their lives upholding our “sweet land of liberty” and born witness to the atrocities leveled against people around the world who struggle under leadership that does not value individual freedom. Work continues to build on progress to ensure veterans related policies and programs respect veterans’ commitment to our country by making certain veterans who choose to make Idaho home can more easily access the jobs, programs and services they need and their talents are effectively applied.
We as a country are given opportunities annually, and every day really, to recognize important American ideals and the great Americans who make the continuation of those valued principles possible. Election Day and Veterans Day are intertwined when we consider our form of self-governance is guaranteed by the commitment of those willing to step up to defend it and direct it. I am deeply grateful to Idaho Veterans for their service that has guaranteed us all the right to participate in our extraordinary self-governance.
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