Now that the 2018 midterm elections are over, most Americans of goodwill share a common hope: that our elected representatives will put forth their best efforts for all the people of this country, not just the ones who supported them.

Bitter feelings will take time to heal, and already, word is circulating of victors who have pledged to "get back at" those who didn't support them. Similarly, supporters of candidates who fell short are shaking their fists in anger. But even they can agree on two of our most important assets and the need to do everything possible for them. The first asset is our children; the second is our veterans and active-duty military personnel.

TDP has always placed a premium on both groups, and devoted considerable "newshole" to stories that involve them and advocate for them. Beginning last year, we committed to publishing a weekly front-page story about one of the county's eight rural schools. Occasionally, those stories have fallen through, mainly when a superintendent or other staff member is unable to get back with us in time. But for the most part, the plan has worked.

As far as veterans go, it's easy to give them the high profile they deserve. They are willing to cooperate, not so much for themselves as individuals, but for the sakes of their brothers and sisters in arms. As they support one another, the newspaper supports them, and we strongly believe the rest of the community should do so, too.

Some readers may have noticed that this week, in the lead-up to Veterans Day, TDP has been publishing features on veterans, their organizations, and the services available to them. It's sometimes surprising when veterans don't know where to turn when they need help, and it's our job to help steer them in the right direction. This will culminate on Friday, with our annual Salute to the Military section, where we profile veterans and active-duty military who have submitted forms to us. This is often a challenging task, since service people don't want to appear to be boasting about themselves. For our part, it's merely a way of recognizing those who have done so much to protect our way of life in this country.

As always, TDP will be on hand to cover the Veterans Day Parade Saturday, and we encourage all area residents to line the streets of Muskogee Avenue to pay their respects. It starts at 11 a.m. downtown, and the grand marshal will be Don Nichols, a Vietnam veteran, 30-year employee of the Veterans Administration, and Order of the Purple Heart recipient.

This year's event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 on Nov. 11, 1918. Lineup will begin at 10 a.m. on Goingsnake, and the parade will proceed south on Muskogee Avenue. Beforehand, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony on the Cherokee Capital Square. After the parade, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No 3707 will sponsor a bean dinner at the Post on the corner of Choctaw and Park streets. Veterans can eat for free, and others pay $3.

We know Cherokee County residents are generous and thoughtful when it comes to our veterans. That's why a call to help them put a new roof on the VFW building - both from TDP and other sources - got results. But what these veterans' groups want and need right now is to increase their numbers. As older veterans die, the groups get smaller, and they are so vitally important for the camaraderie they instill.

TDP supports the groups in their efforts to get younger veterans and active-duty personnel to join their ranks. Over the years, we've heard back from several new members, who express their gratitude for pointing them in the right direction. On the front page of today's edition - as well as the front pages of the Nov. 6, 7 and 9 editions - readers will find information they need to either support veterans groups, or to become part of them.

Get involved. It could be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

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