A Debt of Gratitude
Veterans Day is one single date on our calendars, set aside as a reminder to offer our sincerest gratitude to those who have contended - and served - and sacrificed for this nation. It is simply one day to remind us that there is an enduring cost for independence and for liberty. Let us never forget that freedom is our privilege, and not our right. Let us always remember that freedom is a living entity, born as a gift from those who have steadfastly fought to protect us - with its survival entirely reliant upon our duty to uncompromisingly fight to protect it.
I would like to take a moment to thank my father, who proudly served this nation during the Korean Conflict aboard the USS Juneau (CLAA-119). The anti-aircraft cruiser he served upon was nicknamed the “Galloping Ghost of the Korean Coast” for her surprising appearances along the foreign shore, destroying enemy installations. The USS Juneau earned its place in history as the first US Naval vessel to fire a shot in the Korean incident. Even now as I recall my father speaking of his Navy days, I can remember a distinctive mix of pride and sentiment within his eyes, and within his aspect, as he reminisced of men with whom he served, as well as those who sadly had been lost. There were difficult stories that he chose to keep to himself - but there were other stories that he could not help but to repeat. And, as it is now likewise with all Veterans, his wartime stories have become a part of our nation's collective histories. Because of what these Veterans choose to do - and because of what their choices have allowed us to do as a nation - we have been privileged to live these lives of freedom that were gifted to us. If ever we need to fight politics and policies on the home front, in order to maintain our gift - it is truly the least that we can do, in their honor.
November the 11th will arrive each year to remind us to give thanks to those who serve. May we be prompted to do so on this day - and may each tomorrow thereafter be done without prompting.
God Bless Our Troops ~
Without our military, their families and their multifaceted sacrifices, there would be nothing as we now know it. To ignore their integral structure to everything we enjoy as freedom and liberty is well beyond rude indifference... I find it reprehensible.
It is ignorance to not understand the widespread tyranny, chaos, victim-hood and totalitarian nature of the bulk percentage of the world's population. We have so commonly lost the respect for the finite boundaries of our comparative Utopian Bubble. We are mired in convenience, technology and self gratification which has now permitted the rearing of entire generations of children and young 'adults' who are blissfully oblivious to the threatening realities that surround us. This condition insulates and demotivates our growing young minds to be cognizant of the enormous gifts bestowed by our watch keepers.
And the saved, salvaged and rebuilt nations of this great Earth too quickly fade from their memories the staunch defenses and human kindnesses offered to any country struggling to overcome oppression. Our military are the watchdogs of civility. They insure the dream of individual liberties being realized.
They deserve unforgotten gratitude.
But they do not require it. They doggedly keep their eyes on threats and duty dictated goals... that's it. They do what they do without any debt demanded from us, the recipients of their toils, subjection to danger and constant sacrifice.
It seems rather basic to say "Thanks" and teach our children to do the same... I am always struck by the often stunned look on a veteran's face when I just suddenly reach out, without other cause or reason, and firmly shake their hand with a heartfelt "Thank you for your service to Our Country". And I always look them straight in the eyes when I do it.
I want them to see it's not fake, and it's not posturing. I mean it.
God bless them. Every last one.
Labels: Veterans Day