Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank you, Veterans

Today is a good day to reflect and put things in perspective.

Today is a day to be grateful for having a house to clean, and leaves to rake, and not having to live under the rule of a tyrant or a dictator. Today is a day to be grateful for democracy, and for those men and women who continually ensure that we are able to enjoy our freedom.

Hollywood movies, with attractive actors and great soundtracks, can make war look glorious. Last night we watched a show on PBS that followed a group of WWII veterans as they made their way to Washington, DC to see the WWII Memorial. Near the end of the program, one grizzled old vet said, with tears in his eyes, "There is no glory in war." I can't imagine what our grandfathers endured in the Pacific and in Europe. I can't imagine what our fathers and uncles saw and lived through in Vietnam. I can't imagine what our brothers and sisters are going through right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can't imagine...but I can be thankful.

Whenever I meet someone new, and I learn that he or she served in the military, I make it a point to say, "Thank you." Too often, the veteran is taken aback. I don't know that they are used to being thanked, which is a shame. It's sad that most people don't think about their sacrifices except for one day a year. In my book, every day should be Veteran's Day. But since it's not, take some time this weekend to call your dad, your grandpa, your uncle, your brother, sister, aunt, cousin...anyone you know who served, no matter what war or conflict, just to say, "Thanks." I called my Papa and e-mailed my Uncle Jim. I wish I could say thanks to my grandpa and both M's grandpas, and to my great Uncle Matt who died in WWII, but they'll just have to hear my prayers.

Veterans of The Battle of the Bulge,
Gateway St. Louis Chapter

Affton Days Parade, 2006

I yelled, "Thank you!" to them as they drove by.
They smiled and said, "You're welcome!"

No matter how you feel about the current war, whether we should stay or pull out, just be grateful that there are men and women who serve our country, who serve all Americans, by enlisting in the armed forces and making the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. Thank you, to all our veterans, and all our future veterans.


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