VETERANS DAY . . . and the great “sandwich”
When I was a child, no one ever explained the significance behind Memorial Day or our Independence Day celebration. And I doubt I woud’ve understood them completely, but at least the seed of understanding would’ve been planted.
As a kid, I knew nothing about a love-for-country, but I never missed a single 4th of July pyrotechnical show. Once I hit 30, that fondness quickly faded. The hubby and I now treat fireworks presentations like the flu—we sleep them off.
Just kidding. Actually, it’s the crowds we dislike. Squeezing onto miniature plots of grass between strangers. Mosquitoes. Fighting traffic for an hour to get to our home that’s only 15 minutes away. No thanks.
We’ll barbecue with friends who share similar aversions. I’ll even wave pretty sparklers in the air as night falls. Ultimately, however, I have to admit, I’m a party pooper when it comes to crowds–unless there’s a parade with candy.
But there was one year I caught 10 firework shows in a single night. We were flying from one end of the country to the other. From the plane’s window, I watched amazing balls of light explode above the Land of the Free and the Brave. Red, White and Blue, gloriously celebrating our nation’s freedom. An unforgettable sight.
Although I grew up as the daughter of a Naval veteran, I thank my husband, a retired Army officer, for helping me understand the real significance behind our country’s Independence Day celebrations. Because of his love for our one nation under God, my loyal husband introduced me to my first Memorial Day service (198?). The sacrifice our servicemen and women made to help us keep celebrating the 4th of July had never connected in my mind. Until then.
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THE GREAT SANDWICH. I find it interesting that, viewing the calendar year, our nation’s celebration of freedom falls between the day we pay tribute to those who sacrificed for that freedom (Memorial Day) and the day we honor those who live to tell about that fight for freedom (Veteran’s Day).
This week, take the hand of a veteran and shake it. Tell him or her thank you from your heart. Though they didn’t sacrifice their lives, they likely sacrificed family relationships, physical capabilities, and/or emotional stability to protect me and my children, and my children’s children.
“While my wife at my side lies slumbering,
and the wars are over long,
And my head on the pillow rests at home,
and the vacant midnight passes,
And through the stillness, through the dark,
I hear, just hear, the breath of my infant,
There in the room, as I wake from sleep,
this vision presses upon me:
The engagement opens there and then,
in fantasy unreal;
The skirmishers begin
—they crawl cautiously ahead—
I hear the irregular snap! snap!
I hear the sounds of the different missiles—
the short t-h-t! t-h-t! of the rifle balls;
I see the shells exploding, leaving small white clouds—
I hear the great shells shrieking as they pass . . .”
The Artilleryman’s Vision, Walt Whitman, read the rest here
GOD BLESS OUR AMERICAN VETERANS!