HAPPY VETERANS DAY Today is Veterans Day. As you are reading this, members of our military are scattered around the world. Our troops are on Army bases, Navy ships, Air Force bases and countless other locations around the world. Veterans Day is set aside for Americans as a nation to honor those who serve and have served us in the military. Veterans Day recognizes the fact that those who survive military service also make enormous sacrifices. They dedicate themselves to ensuring our safety, to preserving our liberties. Often, they endure hardships simply inconceivable to those who have not served. They hone skills to a level far beyond what those of us in civilian jobs can imagine. And they recognize that failure to be ready can have terrible ramifications - for themselves, their comrades in arms and their nation. Today, then, we pause to honor them - to say "thank you" while knowing how inadequate our expressions of gratitude are in the context of what they do and have done. Still, we as Americans join today in saluting our veterans. They have earned our heartfelt, enduring gratitude. Thank you.
ANIMAL CRUELTY FUTURE Opponents of a controversial animal cruelty measure succeeded in defeating the proposal at the polls this past week. Now the onus is on them to follow through on their intentions to submit what they say is better and more comprehensive protection for animals when the 2013 Legislature convenes in January. North Dakota voters soundly defeated Measure 5, which would have established felony penalties for malicious acts of cruelty on horses, dogs and cats. Members of North Dakota Animal Stewards campaigned against Measure 5, arguing that the legislation didn't protect enough animals and didn't include the most common forms of animal abuse, starvation and neglect. The group says it has legislators who want to sponsor a more comprehensive bill at the Legislature. No doubt animal lovers and supporters of the defeated Measure 5 will hold North Dakota Animal Stewards accountable, and they should. Members of the Legislature have been unable to pass similar legislation in the past, so we hope the outcome is different in 2013. Otherwise, there will surely be another ballot measure coming.