veterans day bird

I sat quietly today at a Veteran’s Day ceremony as men and women entered the hall dressed in their various uniforms. As a parent of one of the high school band members, I was actually in attendance to see my son play. But what I experienced far surpassed any of my expectations.

People arrived hugging one another. They were standing inside City Hall before the program sharing stories of war and survival. Each having their own set of medals. Women and men from different generations. They represented different wars. There were the men from the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and WWII. When the high school band played the music from each branch of the armed forces, those who were from that branch stood up. I looked around to realize that there were many more Veterans than there were regular citizens.

As these brave men and women stood up, I felt some tears in my eyes. I was thinking about the situations and conditions they must have faced. All of these people were ordinary citizens at one point. Trained briefly at boot camp. Basic training lasts 8 weeks except for the Marines who have a 12 week basic training. Then they were shipped off to a foreign country to fight. On a terrain they did not know, surrounded by a language they probably did not speak. And with the uncertainty of returning home alive. Because that is what they signed up for. A paycheck that comes with the stipulation that they will be putting their life on the line.

For the Veterans that were in attendance today, I thank you! Not just for what you have done, but what you continue to do for us regular people. You remind us that ordinary can become extraordinary! We are also reminded by your very presence that we have a country worth fighting for!