Every Veteran’s Day I stop to remember all of our past veterans and all those currently serving our country. This day always reminds me of my father, who passed nearly five years ago. My dad served our country during World War II and the Korean War. While I was born several years after his service, I was never shy of asking my dad to tell me about what he experienced during those years. Some experiences were too painful and he never spoke of; others were quite happy – he did meet his wife, Margaret, while serving in England during World War II (and I have an amazing sister as a result!).
My dad began his military career in the Army Air Corps, before the Air Force was even formed. My father is most certainly my hero for more reasons than I can count.
Cynthia Ozick said, “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” For those of us who have never been there, to make a sacrifice of our veterans’ magnitude, who have never had liberties taken from us – it can be easy to overlook these brave men and women and the immensity of their sacrifice. We should make a conscious effort today and every day to thank them for their service and to acknowledge the price – whether visible or invisible – that they have paid to ensure we remain free.
My children have been brought up to honor our military and our veterans and they thank anyone they see in uniform or recognize as a veteran. I have taught my boys to show gratefulness to the sacrifice these brave men and women have made for us. Everyone should teach their children the same. To understand the sacrifice and price they have paid is something that is nearly incomprehensible to those who have not been there. To all the veterans who have served our great country, THANK YOU – it is a debt I cannot ever repay. I thank you from the utmost depths of my heart. I simply cannot thank you enough.
(Photo: Carl O’Day, SSgt, United States Air Force, served in WWII & Korean War, March 30, 1923 – December 4, 2007)