Honor a Veteran Today
In America, the land that I love, the land in which I can say I am FREE, we celebrate and honor our Veterans today for the sacrifices they make, for allowing us to have that freedom, and for some of them, dying for it just the same.
Each year that this holiday rolls around I am always amazed at its significance, not reminded of it, but amazed by it. For the everyday American, if you really think long and hard about it, you realize that you made the choice not to serve our country in the capacity in which others do/did. And that’s no fault of yours or anything. It’s just a fact of life. I know I didn’t choose to serve my country. I did choose a couple of boyfriends back in the day that did though, however. A bad attempt at humor there.
But seriously, what our Vets do on our behalf is so incredible, so giving, and what their families do to support them is just as much. What we need to do and should be doing each year is finding some small way to honor those that fight for our freedoms and their families. Whether it be sending a care package to a soldier, sending a simple letter, saying a little prayer, tending to the grave of a fallen one (even one we don’t know), or sharing our thoughts (as I am doing right now) via a blog post, we should be doing something to honor our soldiers, our heroes.
This year, I took great notice in a few organizations that have paid tribute to our nation’s servicemen and I wanted to recognize them now for their efforts to thank them for doing their part to honor them.
ESPN’s College Game Day was televised from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this past weekend. That in and of itself was cool but to listen to the hosts talk about their excitement for being on base and more significantly, to see Lee Corso moved to tears while on camera, well, that was something. What a fantastic way to kick off Veterans Day week (pun intended).
Another ESPN staple from both radio and television, The Mike and Mike Show, took their Tuesday, November 10th program on board the USS New York, a ship that was built partly from the steel from the former World Trade Center buildings and had only been commissioned into service for three days. What a way to christen the ship! And what a way for ESPN to once again, pay tribute to our soldiers.
As for today’s tributes, ESPN Sports Center broadcast from West Point in upstate New York this morning and the restaurant with Aussie flair founded by American businessmen, Outback Steakhouse, is providing a FREE Bloomin’ Onion and a free beverage to any servicemen that stops into a participating restaurant.
I LOVE it! I love seeing American business step up to the plate and show some GI love. I wish smaller entities would figure out a way for their employees to participate in something today, especially those that have to work.
I Tweeted earlier that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is recognized not just as a day off but ON, a “Day of Service” in these parts. Businesses all around this area allow their employees to volunteer their time on that day for a cause that either the business as a whole believes in or for a cause the employee believes in. Perhaps, Veterans Day should have the same effect? Perhaps there should be some form of recognition that adults, children, even pets can participate in other than just enjoying another day off, or for those working, just another day of work.
The Governor of local fan organization, Triangle Red Sox Nation, sent a very beautiful tribute email out last night to all the members of the Club. The opening paragraph read:
As sports fans, we talk often of heroes on the field of play. As Veterans’ Day approaches, we pause to honor the extraordinary service and sacrifice of real heroes. Here in North Carolina, the most Military-Friendly State in America, you don’t have to look far to find them. We owe everything to their sacrifice. They wage war so that we might know peace. They brave hardship so that we might know opportunity. They are prepared to pay the ultimate price so that we might know freedom. (Sean Bunn, Governor, Triangle Red Sox Nation)
I thought his remarks were so well-written that I wanted to share them with my readers. Once again, another fabulous tribute to those that fight for Americas freedoms!
Today through this post, I honor several members of my family and some of my friends who serve our country, but I especially pay tribute to my Grandfather John who, though he passed away in 2003, the memory of his service lives on. I can remember him telling his stories about Army life or living on the ships in the Pacific or arriving on the French coast after D-Day. They still give me shivers just thinking about them.
It’s not the stories that make the difference for me. It’s the man that told them. You see, my Grandpa was a Finnish immigrant who became an American citizen and chose to serve the only country he ever really knew. While his service was a short tour of duty, the impact of the significance of that will be forever embedded into my memory and I will be forever grateful to him for it.
So today, I encourage you while the day is not over yet, to find a little time to do something in honor of a soldier, in honor of their family, in honor of this great nation.
Last month while vacationing in Hilton Head Island, I came across this beautiful plaque in one of those roadside souvenir shops. It read:
“The land of the free BECAUSE of the brave” (emphasis mine)
Thanks to all that serve. We appreciate ya!
I close with this. It’s a beautifully done rendition of our National Anthem by my friends and very talented performers, the Wells Family Band. Enjoy!