Happy Veterans Day – 11-11-2014

US.Flags cross_Memorial.DayOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice went into effect and fighting ceased between the Allied Nations and Germany.  World War I was then finished.   It was called the war to end all wars.

Then in November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

Thus Veterans Day was born.  Happy Veterans Day to all of those amazing and brave men and women who serve our country. I want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have served in uniform or are still serving.  You make it possible for me and my family to live and enjoy our freedoms promised by the U.S. Constitution.  For that, I will always be grateful.

Not only are those being shipped away to be honored, but all the families who are left behind to carry on.  I am in awe of those families who have a member deployed for one year.  That is such a long time and so much happens.  I feel for and pray for those families and hope everyone will return home safely again.

Those in the service certainly know what true sacrifice is.  Some give their lives, others give their health, their bodies, and their time.  May we not take them for granted.

A few quotes for Veterans Day:

  • “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”  ~ José Narosky
  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~ Elmer Davis
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”  ~ Michel de Montaigne
  • “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”  ~ Maya Angelou
  • “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”  ~ G.K. Chesterton
  • “Freedom is never free.”  ~ Author Unknown

I wonder if on this Veterans Day, I will truly understand and appreciate all the amazing things that our military men and women do for us?  I plan to do just that and say thank you!

Happy Memorial Day

cross_Memorial.DayThis morning Ian asked me what today is all about.  “Mommy, what is Memorial Day?”  he asked.

I told him that it is a day to remember people who have protected us and our country.

The concept of war is totally foreign to this sweet 5 1/2-year-old, but my husband and I have tried to explain that people have fought for us in order to keep us safe.  And, some have died in the process.

“Okay, Mommy,” he said in response.

Although he doesn’t understand all of this, he does understand death — well as much as someone his age can.

Last night on PBS, the Memorial Day special from Washington, D.C. aired.  Ian watched some of this with us before his bedtime. It was such a moving show.  We only saw part of it, but what we did see was packed with patriotism and honoring our Vets.

We started watching it during the honoring of Korean War vets and the memorial in D.C. to them, then a tribute to Charles Durning who was a great actor and Veteran of World War II.   Hearing his accounts of landing at Normandy and all of his buddies that he lost gave me chills.

He was awarded a Silver Star and several Purple Hearts.  I fondly remember him on the show, “Evening Shade” and several other items, but hadn’t realized his bravery in battle.  Thank you Charles and all other Veterans for all that you have done!!

The special also included songs from each branch of the military.  They celebrated the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and National Guard.  Thanks to all of you who have served or are still serving!  You are awesome and so very brave.

As you know too well, war truly is hell.  I want to take today to say thank you to all veterans for enduring hell on earth for our freedoms!  We cannot thank you enough for your love of our country and your sacrifice.

Thanks also to your families for their sacrifices as well.

Today on this first unofficial day of summer, I am going to remember these fine people and all that they have done for me and my family.

I wonder if I can remember that each day?  I sure hope so since freedom is not to be taken for granted.  Also freedom is never free.

Here are a few quotes about Memorial Day:

  • “For love of country they accepted death,”  ~James A. Garfield
  • “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.” ~Francis Marion Crawford
  • “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” ~Minot J. Savage
  • “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”  ~Benjamin Disraeli
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” ~Lee Greenwood