Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Emotion overrun describes today well.  It started last night as I tucked my girls into bed and talked about what Veterans Day means to them followed by a discussion about the past, present, and future of our country and how veterans in all those time periods are instrumental in maintaining the freedom we all have.  As young as they are, they get it.  They had a few questions for me, one which cracked my heart in half (which will remain between us) and off to bed they went, under the blanket of freedom.

There is no debate, I am one of the most transparent people you will ever meet.  That bodes me well at some times and spells doom in others.  Sometimes, it is good to shield your innermost thoughts and feelings (ie: the workplace) and other times, it's appropriate.  Call it a failure or not, that's me.  Today is a day that gives me license to be as transparent as I wish about my passion for my country and those who selflessly give of themselves, sometimes with their own blood, to maintain our freedom that the majority of us take for granted.  Tucked away in northeast Ohio, there is little patriotism around me so on days like today, I feel like a firecracker inside a sealed can, getting ready to explode.  It just runs so thickly through my veins.  I was in our  bedroom closet this morning trying on my dress blues jacket and getting the proper ribbons and devices on it for today and Marjie came around the corner, chuckling.  "What?" I asked...defensively...almost feeling mocked by her.  "It's only 7 o'clock!  You don't go until 1:30 this afternoon!"  She wasn't laughing AT me but more of me in a pair of black pants and a suit jacket on, bare-chested!  Shortly thereafter, my oldest daughter asked me if she could wear my green camouflage uniform hat to school (of course, I said yes) and off they went.  Yea, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning today in terms of happiness, thankfulness, and humbleness.

It wouldn't be a typical post without a little ranting.  Not to sour this day, but to just say this: I wish more Americans showed their patriotism and love for their country, if in fact it exists.  There are so few flags flying on homes in comparison to the number of homes.  You can buy a flag, mounting hardware and all, at the store for less than a carton of cigarettes.  True.  And in our schools, our kids are learning safely in public schools beneath a flag flying outside, yet so very, very, VERY few school systems do a single thing to honor veterans.  These kids are our country's future, for goodness sake.  I will do my part as a father and will instill the value system, respect, and honor as part of raising my children but I am saddened by the countless other children who have no clue.  I also don't think that the majority of Americans know that WE have lost several Marines this very week in Afghanistan in combat operations...our own countrymen.  Instead of covering this, the media focuses on politics, the economy, Michelle Obama's handshake, visits to India (costing hundreds of millions of dollars), and a stranded cruise ship off the California coast (which the USS Ronald Reagan assisted, by the way!).  Seriously, where are our priorities?!  Most, if not all, networks will run some kind of patriotic programming today...but today only.  Tomorrow will be business as usual and the flags wilme down.  Still, though, that Marine, Sailor, Soldier, or Airman stands watch over our freedom 24/7.

To all veterans today and those who have gone before, THANK YOU.  We, as a country, owe our very existence to your selfless, voluntary sacrifice.  To the families (especially the spouses, moms, and dads), thank you to you as well.  You provide the support structure, the backbone, for us all to do what needs to be done.

In closing today, I leave you with a quote from every military funeral that is held today as Old Glory is handed to the next of kin, folded ever so perfectly:

"On behalf of a grateful nation, I present this flag as a token of our appreciation for the faithful and selfless service of your loved one for this country."

Official 2010 Veterans Day Poster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Nick! Very well said.