Veterans day is a day when lots of public fuss is made about people who have served our country in the armed forces. They’ve made sacrifices of time, family, and even their lives to protect our freedom and the human rights of others around the world and it’s only right that we take a day to thank them.
My entire family lineage is filled with veterans. I can name them from the American Revolution all the way up to the Gulf War. I could probably even dig out some from before we came to America if I explored it hard enough.
For some of those individuals, the military was their profession, what they chose to do with their life, but for many more it wasn’t. The served because they were called in a time of need or as a means to get to somewhere else in their life. They fought wars, maintained peace, and patrolled the seas.
My husband, Jerry, was on submarines for many years. His brother, Ross, is a retired Army Sargent. My Uncle Jay retired from the Air Force. My dad served in the Army and National Guard. My Uncle Claude was stationed in Germany in the late 1950’s. Their dad served in WWI. My mother dad sailed on a gun boat between WWI and WWII across the South Pacific, through the newly built Panama Canal, and spent time in Hawaii and China during the one year they were open for trade. The generation before that were in the Civil War … on both sides … and in the American Revolution … on both sides.
I guess you could say military service runs in our family. But does it?
I’ve known these men my whole life and what makes their service remarkable to me is that none of them are what the world would dramatize a soldier to be. They aren’t rigid, highly disciplined, gun crazed, people. Instead they are men who chose to be of service to their country. They understood the value of upholding our freedom and rights as American citizens and stood up for that principle by joining the military.
That’s what this whole day is about. Honoring that passion and drive and commitment to a shared value and ideal of life as citizens of a free nation. In the midst of government bashing, making fun of political candidates, rebelling against any government control, issues of gun laws, health care issues, attacking the police, etc … can we at least agree that the ideals we hold as a nation are worth fighting for in the overall picture of the world?
I’ve lived in foreign countries where the citizens don’t have the rights that we do as Americans. Even in some of the most of forward thinking modernized countries in the world, the government is still all powerful and all controlling. And I won’t even start to discuss the countries in the world that are still run by terrorist regimes that keep women enslaved and think nothing of murdering their own people.
Whatever the flaws of our system of government, I am proud to be an American and give my utmost thanks and praise to all the men and women who choose to uphold those beliefs that we share in common and that keep us free.