Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

For years, I've attended one military function after another. I've dressed up for a ball, stood in support of I forget how many re-enlistment ceremonies, learned about military pomp and circumstance, and even how to deal with upper brass. Shoot, I even managed to get myself in to see the President speak to the troops returning from Iraq to Fort Stewart. Yet I've only had one other day where there was a lump in my throat and swelling of patriotism as big as today. It was the day Pete returned from the war.

Today, that patriotism oozed from every pore of my body. Maybe it was the "Army Mom" hat I wore, or the US Army jacket, or the unit tee shirt I had on underneath, but I doubt it. That was just identification. Beleive it or not, the last Veteran's Day Parade I attended was one I marched in during high school. Pathetic. My husband has been in the Army for 19 years, and I've not been to a single parade honoring our nation's veterans in all that time. Honestly, until this year, I've not heard of any going on in the areas we were in. It's possible that the towns we've lived in (El Paso TX, Hinesville GA, and Watertown NY) have just not had parades. If that's the case, shame on them.

However, I think it just kind of came crashing down on me all at once today that we're a military family in more than one sense of the term. I was there in support not just of our veterans, but of two active duty units. I cheered when my son's unit marched by, and I cheered when my hubby rode by on top of the launcher he trains soldiers to work on.

It's days like today that I really don't care WHAT you think of our nation's foreign policy, the war, or timetables for withdrawal. These are the guys (and gals) who have sworn to protect us, and they deserve both our respect and every bit of honor that this day brings to them. This is the day we should all be standing up proud and tall as our nation's flag passes by and remember the blood that was shed for the freedom of people not just in this country, but in countries most of us will never go to. Our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines fight not only for our freedom, but for the freedom of people worldwide. That's something to stand up and salute.

I find it absolutely horrific that people around me at that parade did NOT know to stand when our nation's colors pass in review. I told my girls (who were sitting on the curb during the parade) to stand each time the American flag was marched by, and eventually, people got the idea. I was even more horrified that a 10-year-old boy next to us asked out loud as a group of older veterans (proudly announcing that they fought in Korea) marched by, "Mom, was there really such a thing as the Korean War?"
America, we have forgotten our past. We are neglecting to teach our nation's history to our children. We don't teach them what honor and integrity and sacrifice mean. We traded those lessons for self-esteem, sex ed, and political correctness. Yes, we need change. Who will bring the change our country needs? I fear it is not the man who has been promising it.

I'll share pictures of my day before I hurt myself falling off of this soap box....

Our nation's colors and the representative flags of our Armed Forces. Are you standing?

The Alabama A&M Marching Bulldog Band. Pretty cool!

Ok, that was about when that lump showed up in my throat.

Is it any wonder I couldn't find my son in that sea of camouflage?

Jon's company. Nope, I never found him.

Pete and his big boy toy. He's on top of the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), doing that cute little golf wave--the one on the left under the flag.

I was thrilled to be able to salute not only my two heroes today, but also the ones who have gone before them in uniform, preserving the freedoms and privileges we enjoy as Americans. Let us not forget what our forefathers intended this nation to be, and may America once again return to her roots! For my husband, son, father, father-in-law, grandfathers, grandfathers-in-law, and every generation on both sides who have served in every conflict of our nation's history, I stand honoring every sacrifice that has been made. Let's not see those sacrifices wasted to return to something our forefathers sought to escape.


Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Kris, thank you to you, your kids, and your husband for what you do for our country. I am standing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this, I had that lump too just reading this! I wish more people honored our military!

I also wanted to thank you for your comments on my Ponderings question! I soooo appreciate them!

Anonymous said...

God bless those who serve and have served. My grt grandfather served overseas in WWII and I know he gave a lot.

Thanks for visiting A Pondering Heart

Miss Jocelyn

Qtpies7 said...

Great post! I hope you didn't fall too far off your soap box.

I was trying to figure out why your blog was locking up my computer. So I am checking on my hubby's and I see/hear you added music. If I stopped commenting from here on out it is becuase I can't get on your blog and my husband lost his job and his laptop. We find out tomorrow if he is layed off.

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