VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE

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Today honors the men and women who serve or have served honorably in the U. S. armed forces.Veterans Day 2009 is especially poignant because of the massacre last week of 13 people and the wounding of 38 more at Fort Hood, Texas. Compounding the tragedy was the fact that the perpetrator came from within the ranks, a U. S. Army psychiatrist holding the rank of major, Nidal Malik Hasan. The number killed and wounded in the shooting spree would have been even greater had it not been for the heroic action of civilian police officer Kim Munley, who shot the nefarious and cowardly assassin four times while being wounded herself. Officer Munley is married to U. S. Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Munley.

The horse-racing industry has many participants who have served the United States in uniform during war and peace. John Shirreffs, the trainer of  Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Zenyatta, was a Marine in Vietnam. Congratulations to him on his victory last Saturday and for answering his country’s call so many years ago in time of war. Another veteran is former Army Airborne Ranger Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds. He not only proudly named his stable after his alma mater, but his Thoroughbred Thank You Fund sends active duty military personnel to major races. Many other veterans are involved in the racing industry, but less visibly. For instance, Harry Miller, a longtime associate in the advertising department at the Blood-Horse, was an Aircraft Armament Repair Specialist in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. Harry, an affable bear of a man, loaded the bullets and rockets and repaired the guns on Cobra helicopter gunships. Like so many others in the sport of horse racing, currently and in the past, these three men have been loyal to the patriotic tenets of duty, honor, and country.

Bill Shanklin and Horse Racing Business salute all of the men and women who have served honorably in the U. S. military, from the American Revolution to the present, and protected our cherished freedoms.

May God bless them all.

Copyright © 2009 Horse Racing Business

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