Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day

I never lack for things to say at least on my blog, but its actually taking the time to do it, that seems to suffer.  I am a morning person, no two ways about it, and I am at my best writing, thinking, and in just general energy levels in the morning.  Blame it on my farm girl roots.  So I should sit down and blog every morning, right?  In theory that sounds right, but somehow in actual application, I fall like a lead balloon and fail at this just as I promise to weigh myself once a week. 
I even jot down topics I want to write about.  I am now behind about 10 blogs worth.  Funny how that happens.

But yesterday was Veteran's Day and I don't want to let it go by without my thoughts on it.  Much was made of the day.  Commercials flooded the airwaves thanking our Veterans, past and present.  Restaurant chains advertised free meals or servings for Vets.  Facebook was flooded with wall posters for Veteran's Day and many put up pictures of dad's, grandpa's or other loved ones, who had served or were currently in the military.  It was fitting, but I have to wonder where all this came from.  Veteran's Day is one of the last surviving "Bank and Government" holidays as I call them because they seem to be the only ones who don't work, that hasn't been moved to a Monday holiday, an abomination in my opinion of all the holiday's I once held dear as a child.  We celebrated  Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday on the 12th and the 22nd of February.  It wasn't a bank or postal holiday, renamed President's Day and moved to a Monday so schools could be off and all the a fore mentioned places could take a holiday.  Memorial Day was always on May 30th.  Yes, we got school off, but we celebrated in the way it was meant to be celebrated by visiting the cemeteries and decorating the graves of passed on loved ones.

While I applaud the United States paying omage to our military and Veteran's, I do not see how advertising a Veteran's Day sale at Art Vann is particularly throwing it up for the Vets.  While it is a nice sentiment and I admit, I was one of those who put pictures of my husband and father in law up on Facebook to salute them, a greater service probably would have been to actually go to a VA hospital or VFW gathering and have a personal conversation with a Vet and thank them.  We like, all too well, being able to go out in cyberspace and give greetings and well wishes that don't take much time and make us feel, oh so, much better.  We have done our "bit" with a minimum of fuss and muss.  I am the most guilty of all. 

I didn't know Kurt when he served in Vietnam.  I would meet him almost a decade later.  He didn't talk much about his time there and it was so far in his history when I met him that I just didn't think much about it.  When a reunion group of the 30th Field Artillery was formed  and ultimately arranged actual reunions  at places such as Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Hood, Texas was it that I learned what it felt like to be around people who shared what you had gone through.  I understood the comradeship that these men felt many of whom only shared the 30th FA designation.  Through this group, Kurt located men he had served with in Nam, long since, left behind when he returned.  I spent eye crossing hours at one reunion listening to the men regale each other with stories that only they understood.  I wish now, I had listened more carefully as some of those men are now gone.  They are not forgotten but with each passing loss, we lose something of what is remembered.

Veteran's Day was meant to be a day of rememberance and honoring those who served and serve still.  Our history is built on what our veteran's did on the battlefields.  I had the experience of getting to see the American Cemetery in Normandy, France a few years ago.  People had told me I would be awed by it, and it was true.  It took my breath away.  It was overwhelming to see rows upon rows of white crosses and David's stars lined up in perfect symmetry.  They stretched across green, tree shaded acres and in the background, the sea those soldiers had come across.  Stormy, wind swept seas.  It is the end result of so many military resting places, now sacred, land fought and scarred with the blood of so many.

Thank you to all who served, most importantly to my husband, Kurt, my friend and companion for nearly 35 years.  Vietnam fired the metal core that was there.  It added a layer to the strong man you would become.  God bless you and all who have served and will continue to do so.  May the rest of us never forget.....

No comments:

Post a Comment