Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Celebration

Some of you may have wondered why I didn't write about Veteran's Day yesterday,  I waited to post tonight because my hometown of Sumiton, Al. did their celebration today.   I grew up in extremes......Sumiton, which has a population now of just over 2,000 and Chicago, Ill.  I think they both had much to do with who I am today.  The Veteran's Celebration was especially important to me today because
my husband Rick ( a veteran) was asked to be the keynote speaker, and they also asked us to sing.

The celebration was geared toward the Viet Nam War era today......two gold star families were recognized for their loss, and a community service Veterans' award was given to one of my dad's friends who served in World War II.   I can never go to this service without crying, our  small community has four soldiers who were awarded Purple Hearts, three in the Viet Nam War.  Viet Nam changed me, just as it did many many others in this country.  When I was eleven years old, I knew my first soldier killed in Nam, and for every year after that until the war ended  I knew someone who was killed.  At one time, we had four of our family members in Nam, and countless friends.

I looked across the crowd today, there were veterans from WWII, Korea, Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan,
and I am so proud of my little hometown for showing how much they care.  Our War Memorial is beautiful,  and much more than you would ever expect from a town this small.  I was not the only one who cried today, I think most did.  You think about the sacrifices that service men and women make,
many lose their lives, some lose their families, spouses, their quality of life, they lose limbs.  They spend holidays away from home, and so many are in harm's way.  They are our very best, these men and women who serve.  Every day I work, I do my best to remind those still serving how much they mean to me, how much I appreciate all that they do.......I give them my best, because they give all of us their best.

If you are reading this blog tonight and you are a vet, or still in the service......I appreciate you.  I know that we as a country will never be able to repay you.......I know about the sleepless nights, the nightmares, the fear, the grief, the guilt, and the anger, and the pain.........that is why I do what I do, hoping that someway, somehow, I can help a few.

I talked with a mom and her daughter today, her son was killed in Iraq in 2009.  I looked at their faces,
this mom, and this sister talking about their son and brother who will be "forever young".  They spend alot of time visiting families who have suffered the loss, they go to memorials and celebrations, they talked about his friends who are still deployed and how they worry about them.  I have thought about them so much this evening......their family paid the ultimate sacrifice, yet they are giving constantly to others.   I have also thought about our elected officials, and I truly wonder, do any of them give a damn, do they really care that they troops they send into battle are someone's sons and daughters?
Do they understand that their decisions change lives forever?

We were suppose to go hear a friend play tonight, but my heart was just not in it.  Too full of grief and sadness,  missing my dad and my oldest brother who were veterans .....hoping that somehow they know, I appreciate all that they did.  Thinking about the young men I have spent time with all week, about my friends everywhere who have served their country.  One day is just not enough,
and even if I live to be 100, I will never be able to do enough...........so again to all of you, thank you for
selfless service, for your willingness to pay the price, for your bravery, your good hearts, and your sacrifices.

Peace

7 comments:

  1. it is good to go back to celebrations like this.I am some time shocked how little my young kiwi friends know about WWII.My parents teaching me our mothertongue, parallely with kiwi history thought me a lot as they use to learn in Serbia..I am grateful for that

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  2. Sometimes I wonder how long it will take before we can have a generation not affected by war...........

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  3. This was a wonderful post, Jilda. Thank you.

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  4. Peace and love to you too Jilda, take care
    x

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  5. Great post Jilda. Our small town does a great job of remembering and honoring all who have served and still serve. I think the small towns feel the losses so much more because everyone knows everyone else. The families of Vets deal with their own "wars" at home...keeping it all together and waiting and giving back..I guess that makes them Veterans too. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. We call it Rememberance Sunday over here.

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