Today is Veteran’s day and many in the United States are hopefully taking a little bit of time to think about all those people who gave their time and sometimes their lives to fight for our country.
I have had the honor and pleasure to meet some of our current soldiers and veterans, especially within the past few days. It’s been amazing to see older people interacting with younger schoolchildren, kids asking questions of their elders who served and being courteous and respectful as they listen to war stories but ultimately most of the stories were about friendship and family.
I listened to a woman who was approaching 100. Her brother had fought in WWI and WWII and she had baked for the cause. She knew her brother had to be in the war and couldn’t stop him, but she did what she could to help him out.
I heard a child of about 11 years old tell a veteran that he was a hero and the veteran shrugged and said “Oh, no, I was just doing my job.”
I watched a veteran and his wife smile broadly at a poster they received from a student that had pictures, quotes, and drawings – completely living in the moment and really appreciating the time this one kid took to make an appreciation poster for him. He said he was going to show it to his grandkids.
I think we forget about our soldiers and veterans too often. We also forget that they have families and friends just like the rest of us.
A young girl told me that the veteran she spoke to told her that they were just like them, that they were kids too.
Each generation can learn from other generations, and it’s a blessing to be able to talk to older people and younger people alike to hear their opinions. When we take enough time to truly listen to each other we can take others’ lessons to heart and grow from the knowledge we ascertain from them.
One of the greatest things I have heard from veterans is their desire for peace. As I listened to many of them speak to children they seemed hardened but hopeful that maybe someday soon there wouldn’t have to be wars.
If veterans can hope for peace, what’s there to stop the rest of us?
From the American Revolution to the present we have had brave men and women fighting for our liberty. Our armed forces are there when we need them most, sacrificing and giving without asking for much in return. I’d like to thank all veterans for their service, today and always.