A Few Gray Hairs

On this remembrance day for all who have served our country so honorably, I remember. I remember the draft notices, the starred flags in home windows, the gold stars when a loved one was lost to us forever. I remember a city coming to an absolute standstill on what was then called Armstice Day, at 11 a.m., on the 11th day of the 11th month as a tribute to our military. The twenty one gun salute heard in the distance made my heart beat faster. I shall never forget.

I am old enough now to have survived much–financial disasters, internal strife, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and — well you get the picture. My pride in my country is great. And every time there is a call to arms for ourselves or for those who cannot protect themselves, our military rises to the occasion. The puzzle is why do so many peoples of the world hate us and want to destroy us.

My family has contributed many to the military starting back in the Revolutionary War. But of those I know personally: My mother enlisted in the Navy in World War I as a yoeman (one of 11,000 non-nursing military women). My father was in the Army. My brother served in WWII. My heart gave a big bump of relief when none of my children had to serve because that’s just the way mothers are. Two grandsons enlisted in the Marines. A nephew served in the Air Force and was stationed for a long period of time overseas. And, of course my wonderful husband, who is considered to be a casualty of WWII because of radiation poisoning while serving in Hiroshima and Nakasaki, even though he lived to be 82 years old.

Gratitude for their service and for all the others is too tame a word. Pride in their accomplishments can never describe the feeling. So I spend time remembering that because of them I can sit here at my computer and honor their service and their lives.

Perhaps, a simple thank you says it all.


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