Thursday, November 11, 2010
Honoring Veteran's Day 2010
I recall when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s nearly every adult male seemed to be a veteran. The men in my father's generation nearly all had served in World War 2 and were proud of this service and honored for it. My father had been in the navy. I can recall seeing photos of him in his uniform and feeling so proud of him. The service of his generation and previous generations was respected.
My generation had Viet Nam. We were avoiding service in every way that we could. Most of us made plans for attending college so we could get out of being sent to Nam. When the lottery came along the college deferment didn't mean as much. I was thrilled when my number came up as 276. They said a number that high was unlikely to be called.
It was a different kind of war. Though I never did, many protested. The soldiers returning from the war were reviled by many and often shown disrespect. The feeling of honor in having served wasn't like it had been for the vets of the previous generations. These were the forgotten heroes. Some of them were guys I knew. Some suffered permanent consequences as a result of their participation in that war. Some didn't come back.
Fortunately, the more recent generations of veterans have gotten more respect. We may not agree with everything our government does. We may hate war and prefer that the United States take care of business at home. But the men and women who serve to defend our country are our family, friends, and neighbors. They are doing their job and we should respect that.
If you are in the service, or have a spouse or other family member who is serving their country, today is in honor of them and all of those who served before them. We should all honor and respect those who take on the challenge of discipline, love of country, and willingness to protect. Our veterans have kept us free and I hope there will always be those who are willing to accept this responsibility.
God Bless Our Veterans and All of Those Who Serve!