On Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, we can stop what we’re doing for one day and give our returning heroes a welcome they won’t soon forget. Recently, The Times-Dispatch ran the editorial, “Our Turn,” suggesting that we do something for our troops. It was enthusiastically received, and a seed was sown.

We can do this. The Richmond region can hold events like no one’s business. There’s enough Southern hospitality and Yankee know-how around here to make this happen. Mayor Dwight Jones has graciously offered the city as a venue for the parade. The governor’s office has expressed great interest. The Richmond Council Navy League has agreed to oversee organization of the event. Numerous veterans groups and military organizations have stepped up to the plate.

The politics of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is not the issue here. This is about thanking the men and women who have seen two, three or four deployments to faraway places. It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation to folks who have missed Christmases and weddings and even the births of their children so that our families can sleep safely at night.