There would not be another group of people in society that deserves respect more than our past and present soldiers.
Those who sacrificed their lives to ensure we can have the freedom we now take for granted, or those who give up the comfort of their own homes to assist in peace-keeping missions across the world.
This year will is a particularly poignant time, when we stop to remember those soldiers on Sunday for Remembrance Day.
This year, it will mark 100 years of Armistice – with the war continuing to fade in the memories of those who lived it.
Our veterans are the most selfless and most deserving members of our community, and it is important now, more than ever, that we continue to honour their contribution.
There are many ways that people express their gratitude for soldiers, both ex-servicemen (and women) and current serving soldiers – but sometimes, the form of that gratitude may slightly miss the mark.
An example of this is Virgin Australia’s plan to offer priority boarding and a salute to veterans prior to take-off on its flights.
The plan, announced on Monday, has been met with criticism from the general public and the airline giant has now announced it will seek public consultation before going ahead.
A spokesperson for Virgin said: “It was a gesture genuinely done to pay respects to those who have served our country.”
While the airline’s gesture may not have gotten the response it may have expected, it is important to remember the intent in which it was given.
Respect for veterans is something we all inherently believe in and want to express, but since our experience of the war is fading, it’s not something that we overtly do.
While priority boarding and a before take-off salute might be an idea from left field, commemorating service is not.
Whatever form that commemoration takes, we need to ensure we are liaising with those we are paying tribute to, to ensure the intent is real and not a token gesture. If you are unsure about what to do about Remembrance Day this year, why not consider attending a service?