Today is one of those holidays few care about which is really sad. I could understand apathy towards Columbus Day but it is a disgrace that so many people turn their collective noses up at Veterans Day. If it were not for the sacrifices made by millions of men and women over the years, we would not have the country we have enjoyed for many generations.
My dad served in the United States Army from 1941-45. He, like many World War II veterans, never spoke that much about those years. It was not that my dad had bad memories, but it was as if he just didn't want to talk about what took place. He enlisted, he served and when done he tried to forget.
Back nearly 70 years ago, warfare was just starting to employ the new technology that was just springing up. Despite advances in airplanes and rockets since World War I, the weapons in 1941 were a far cry from those used in Viet Nam in the 1960's and in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
My dad was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. His official title was "mess sergeant" meaning he was in charge of the meals. One of the two stories I ever remember my dad sharing dealt with daily ordeal of peeling potatoes. Evidently this was a very time consuming task that everyone hated doing.
The other story he spoke of was how they cut down huge trees and set them up to look like anti-aircraft artillery. See, their job was to trick the Japanese into believing there were many big guns positioned at Kodiak to keep them from trying to invade Alaska. The strategy worked.
When I think of the sacrifices my dad made it always humbles me. He got married to my mom and within eighteen months was in the Army and did not see his new wife and daughter again for nearly 4 years. No, my dad didn't see any combat duty but his selfless service was just as needed as that of those who gave their lives in combat.
Ever since Korea, this country has grown less and less appreciative of those men and women serving in the Armed Forces. Arguing about the political correctness of a war has superseded the attitude of gratitude that there are people willing to lay down their lives to protect our freedoms. Those who serve or have served in the military deserve our utmost respect and gratitude and NEVER should they have to endure the insults many have endured since Viet Nam.
For all of you who have served in the military, please accept from my heart the deepest level of gratitude for the time you gave, the service you rendered and the willingness on your part to fight for my right to enjoy freedom. For those of you who have lost a child, parent or spouse in any of the wars the past century, I give you my deepest sympathy and extend to you a heart full of gratitude for those willing to give their lives on my behalf.
Thank each and every one of you who in any way shape or form have given of your heart, time and life to defend us and protect us from enemies unseen and unknown. You truly should be and are the true heroes of our time and it is you whom we should all look up to and say "Thank You" to every day.
I am not a veteran. I am, however, the daughter of a man who was a disabled veteran. No, he was not disabled in combat. He was disabled on American soil during the Korean War after being thrown from and then hit by the fire engine he was riding on as it raced to the scene of a plane crash.
He logged in thousands of hours during the remaining years of his life as a volunteer helping other disabled vets. If he were still here today, he would thank you for this blog. Since he is not, as his daughter, I will.
Vetrans day or Armistices day, deserves the highest honour in our calendar. What the men and women of war upon war have endured for the freedom of the world is beyond words.
Today in our school my daughter has the distinct honour of playing the last post at our service of remembrance.
But we do remember more than the men and women of the great war, if I may can I give you a few numbers of the fallen in the conflict in my country over 30 years.
There were 3524 souls fell during the troubles. Many of them were my friends and family.
Can I forget.. No for I lived through it and in the midst of it. Does my heart ache for every service man and woman around the world who falls? Oh yes it does, for I have seen first hand the pain of those left behind.
They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
we will remember them .
A beautiful blog my friend, on the most sombre of days .
Dear B2Y--Thank you for your kind and respectful remarks. I thank God that the veterans returning from the Mideast receive a far better welcome than those of us returning from Vietnam received. It is so important not to allow disagreement with the war to become contempt for the warriors. Well written and well said. :) YBIChrist--Ron