Thursday, November 11, 2010
Making Veterans' Day Last Just a Little Bit Longer
In 12 minutes, Taps will, just like any other day, play here at Ft. Lee. I've listened to more bugles, more cannons, more cadence calls in the past 10 days than I ever thought possible. But with every Retreat that sounds at the end of a day, with every marching Soldier that passes, and with every lone cry of a bugle at 11 PM, I am reminded of one stark truth: freedom is not free. There are sacrifices and tears and a price associated with our freedom to worship God or many gods, to curse the president, to pick a school...a side of war...a side of the street. And when we, you and I, are not laying down our lives for these freedoms, someone is. These men and women get up before the sun. As we are brewing the morning coffee, they are running in formation. As we are kissing our spouses goodbye for the day, they are kissing theirs goodbye for the month...or months. Our daily irritations would be welcome distractions from the routines they know and live.
Today, this is not about me or me and Neal. Do we have our own sacrifice looming? Yes. There is certainly no denying that. But today we are together. Taps plays now, accompanied by his snoring and the glow of my laptop. Today is not our sacrifice. But it is someone's...many someones.
I hope you paused yesterday and thought about the men, women, and children who are affected everyday by a loved one's absence...and about the men and women in uniform who go or have gone, regardless of the orders or the expectations. They all have different reasons for serving. Their reasons don't matter. Their willingness to do so does.
The video posted above is 4 minutes long. I hope you are able to find 4 minutes in your day to sit down and remember those who have sacrificed it all, and send up a prayer for those who have done what we have not. You know I don't post videos...well, ever. And I've sifted through an hour's worth of YouTube videos to find one that I thought is a good representation of how it is to live the military life. It's frustrating...humbling...painful...but at the end of the day, it's nothing compared to the beauty of an American flag waving in a slight breeze.
We are traveling back to Macon today for our pre-deployment Yellow Ribbon event on Saturday. I will be spending Champagne Friday with my favorite veteran (Sorry, Army Dad...you are a very close second favorite...it's *almost* a tie...really). I hope you are able to spend it with your own hero...someone who may not wear a cape or even a uniform, but makes life easier through laughter and love. A salute and a cheers.....