I think I'm going to make this short, sweet, and to the point, so buckle up, gang.
And if you don't have your flag out yet...what's takin' so long?
Parades will be held tomorrow, and many proud veterans will either be in uniform or civilian clothes, medals displayed as they pass by.
And I suppose that is something to consider...the whole "pass-by" thing.
When it comes to our men and women who have served, how often do we even think about the fact that they are ALSO parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, family, co-workers, and even the "everyday" people we see along our streets, working at venues we might frequent?
They are the cab driver, the short-order cook, the policeman or firefighter...the doctor, nurse, or veterinarian.
They are the steel worker, the plumber, the electrician, and even the computer fixer-upper.
They are the welder, the carpenter, the farmer, and the airline pilot.
WHAT they represent when they put on that uniform is this NATION: The United States of AMERICA.
WHO they represent is every last one of...US.
Now, how often do we stop and think about that?
(probably not as frequently as we should)
But, it's on THIS day that we recognize those who have served...and who have fought...and who have sacrificed, with some paying the ultimate price, for an IDEA...a CONCEPT, that being FREEDOM.
The symbol of that freedom can be found in our nation's FLAG, but I would say that it goes MUCH deeper than that.
I would suggest you step back in the archives here and read my posts from previous years for VETERAN'S DAY.
Perhaps in some small way, I've managed to convey not only my sentiments regarding our vets and their service, but maybe some of YOURS as well.
I admit there are times when mere words seem inadequate, but we all need to "speak" as it were, for there is much that needs to be said.
Our veterans are to be cherished as the national treasure that they all are.
Lord knows they will not be with us forever, and many have already passed on.
I am reminded of the words that I had on my blog two years ago this very day:
It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.
~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
It's a LOYALTY unsurpassed, as well as that DEVOTION to a higher power.
It's what places an ordinary person into a situation whereby that person exhibits extraordinary courage and fortitude for his fellow man, his comrades-in-arms, for this nation, and for you and I.
So on THIS day, we recognize such courage...such sacrifice...and such valor.
To ALL the veterans past and present, and to their families, I pray that God would hold you in the hollow of His hand today, and for every day that follows.
Thank you all for what you've done and what you do daily, in whatever country you find yourself.
We can sleep better every night knowing that YOU are the reason we can do so.
Please remember our vets today...buy 'em a cup of coffee if you see one, or just shake their hand and thank them.
Send a donation along to the Wounded Warrior's Foundation or Operation Baghdad Pups, or perhaps a care package to our troops.
Every bit helps in ways you could never imagine.
Talk to a vet and maybe start keeping a journal of stories about their service.
Show them that what they have done MEANS as much to you as it does to them. You'll be glad you did.
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.