Today, we take time out to celebrate this country’s men and women who once served in any branch of the military. Although, all members are welcome at many places for free – this day is set aside specifically to honor our veterans. But, I understand that every National Park this entire weekend, including today, is a freebie. Do you have someone in your family or circle of friends who gave of their time in the past for the good of this nation? I had a father who served in Korea; I may have mentioned, each and every one of my brother-in-laws covered every branch, including my husband who went to the Marines. My uncles served in the Army, and I have a cousin married to an Army man.
Funny story, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “I wanted to be a Marine all of my life.” My husband received a Draft Notice from the Army, but that would never suffice. So, shortly after school, and knowing he wanted to run in a different direction, he took that draft notice to the Marine Recruiting Station, and pledged his allegiance to that particular branch. Unfortunately, while waiting for his report date, he had a little accident where he suffered a second degree burn to an ankle. As he waited for the ankle to heal, he headed off to the Center to let them know. They called in their physician, who advised it would be some time before he could go, due to the severity of the injury. Hanging his head, he limped away, dream almost squashed. But, three weeks later, he headed back to the Center, ripped off the bandages and said, “Look, you’ve gotta let me go. I’m ready.” One week later, he sat on a bus with a load of other inductees headed off to Parris Island, South Carolina, since he resided east of the Mississippi. Okay, so maybe not so funny, as interesting. But, when he tells me of how he lay in his bunk each night planning his escape – then, I laugh, because that is funny.
By way of history, Veteran’s Day began as Remembrance Day, but is also known as Armistice Day. It received its new name, Veteran’s Day in 1954 after the Korean War. The red poppy is tied to Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields“. The poppies flowered across a part of the worst battlefields of Flanders of World War I, and the red color symbolizes the blood shed in that war.
So, head out today, find a neighbor, a relative, or a friend who served – extend a hand and say, “Thank you.” I can’t imagine how swollen my heart would become in such a case. Imagine being a military person on your way through an airport, train station, or bus depot, and even one person walked up to do just that. Talk about making someone’s day. We have many things in this country for which we can give thanks. But remember, I do believe, the most important would definitely involve someone in the military who fought for my freedom. Let me close with this, and I know I’ve mentioned this along the way, but it’s such a great sentiment. It’s a bumper sticker seen on many cars here in this military capital – “Jet noise – the sound of freedom.” I think that’s something I can live with, can’t you?
Image courtesy of 123rf.com
Information from Wikipedia & PoemHunter.com