Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day


Veterans Day has never really been a special holiday to me.  It has always felt like "just another day."

This year it felt a little bit different.

I had just finished class and was heading home and noticed there was a little something set up near the fountain.  There were short little flags poked into the grass and a sound system set up.  There were two podiums with a large book and person at each.  I meandered over that way and walked slowly as I was passing.

"Casualty one thousand one hundred and three..." and they listed a name.  "Casualty one thousand one hundred and four..." and another name.

As I was walking I was thinking.  At that moment those names were just numbers which seemed so sad to me.  Each number/name was a real person.  A person who gave their life for our country.  I was walking by at 9:30 and they were already at over a thousand.  So many and yet still so early.

I have known people who have died, yet I have never been close to any of them:  neighbors, relatives, classmates.  But I have been close to people who were close to them.  And I have seen a glimpse of the pain and sorrow they have felt.  Each has their own way of coping, some better than others, but the best they know how.

Each of these casualties.  Each had a story.  A family.  People who loved them...and still do.

When one realizes that these names are not just ink on paper or etched in stone it hits a lot closer to home and takes on a whole new meaning.

I've never been too close to anyone who has served in the military either, but that's not to say I don't know anyone who has.  I want to thank those who I know, my family and neighbors, and those who I don't.  Thank you for taking the time to serve our country.  To be willing to ultimately sacrifice your life to protect the freedom and lives of strangers.

I hope that each year I can remember to be more appreciative of those who have served.  They have given up a lot.  More than I can imagine, I'm sure.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

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