Today is Veterans Day. Today IS the ONE day in which THANK YOU should have, must have, true meaning, lasting meaning and be said with a convincing voice and smile.
These Veterans are men and women we may never know. Yet, what they have done for us and our great country should still account for everything....even what we take for granted. These people are my relatives.... and they are yours.
This Veteran is the kind man that bags my groceries when I shop. We don't talk about war or the military when he scrambles to get my groceries bagged, but I know he is. I've heard him speak about it a time ago and remembered. I never thanked him when I saw him on Monday.
The old, wrinkled man scuffing down the sidewalk that I grew impatient with because I "thought" I was in a hurry was probably a Veteran. Yet, I never bothered to ask or slow down to give him even a grin. I just hurried on my way. How selfish of me to put myself first in front of a man that was probably putting his life on the line for we while I was still in diapers.
Veterans are all around me. Veterans are around all of us. They are the husbands, sons, daughters, brother-in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousins, uncles..... the list goes on for me as I am sure it must for all of you. And I am deeply proud of all they have given to keep me and my country safe. But I don't thank them enough. And maybe I've never thanked them. But I say THANK YOU inside my head with my heart when I have dinner with you, when I speak with you, when I see your photo. I am proud of all of you and know deep in my heart how much you care and how much American and I mean to you.
I spent alot of summer evenings years ago sitting on the porch with a Veteran of World War I. "Mac" knew alot about our great county. He knew alot about war and though he tried hard to fight back the tears most times he always let me know that he knew he made a huge sacrifice for his country and he was proud he did. "Mac" is gone now. But he loved America and was glad for every day he gave to keep this land free.
Now don't start thinking that I am not patriotic. Ask anyone who knows me just how much I love this country and the American flag. Ask ME about how patriotic I am.........but only if you have the time.
I haven't been saying THANK YOU to Veterans like I really should. I'm sorry for that. But you can bet that every time I see that great American flag, large or small, I think about the brave souls that have given of their time for me, and for you, to leave during peace time or for war, wherever that may be, to keep all of us safe and to enable all of us to remain free.
It is at the sight of the great stars and stripes known as the American flag that I say THANK YOU to every Veteran young and old.
It is because of them that I have the freedom of speech so that I may write this and you may read.
Thank you to ALL Veterans, with love.God Bless You and America.
"Land of the free because of the brave."