I was born in 1951. They called that era The Happy Days. Our parents generation made it through the Great Depression and a couple of wars. Days ahead were promising to them. My parents left the crowded neighborhoods of North Jersey and bought a home at “The Jersey Shore” – even though it was about a twenty minute drive to the beach. Things looking good.
Television (TV) was in about every home in our neighborhood. I was raised on movies about soldiers and wars that seemed to bring a nation together. The women stayed at home and worked the factories, made socks and other such things to send overseas to our soldiers. It seemed the nation fought those wars together – from a child’s perspective.
We lived close to a US Army facility, Fort Monmouth, so it was common to see soldiers and officers in most places. My father served in the South Pacific before I was born. He did pass away when I was just four years old, but my mom persevered as a young widow and mother of three. She did a great job caring for us physically, I knew no lack.
Toward the end of my high school career the war in Vietnam was doing it’s best to tear apart our nation. I was a naive child and a bit lost on political standings but knew there was fear in our country. Boys were getting draft notices and many were demonstrating their beliefs against this war. It was a mess and a fearful time. My two best girlfriends from high school joined the US Air Force. I was so proud of them and admired them but at the same time I was lost in the why of it. If I were a better friend I would have talked to them about it and understood more but I was young and sheltered and lost. I was tempted to run after them and join up also. They are my heroes – (Jill & Candi)
Here we are many years later. We’ve all seen wars in other lands that our nation has stood and fought with. Some we would like to turn our back on and not be involved, but we are a nation that will fight for others and for our own freedom. These soldiers are my heroes. When disaster hits as in the Philippines this week, my heart just aches for the loss and the people – who are just like us, hard-working human beings who are just trying their best to live their dreams – the people who are victims of war and natural devastation.
We lost a daughter in 2005 in a natural occurrence in Southern California (you can read about it in my Loss/Grief section of this blog). Our family knows the pain and so my heart goes out to those who have lost and those who serve our great nation.
Today is Veterans Day. They day that we think of those that serve and those that served and lost for us. It is not a day to go shopping for the best sales. I don;t like that we do that. We turn away from death and remembrance and turn it into a retail wonderland. Part of what makes us strong human beings full of compassion is that we remember. We remember the sacrifices and the loss and the victories – The Victories! It is part of life to remember where we came from. Not to dwell on the past but to remember.
On this Veterans Day I will remember. I hope you take the time to remember also – find a veteran and talk to them. They sacrificed for you. They are my Heroes. Thank you.