Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lakeland 3-9-08-46

The above photo was taken on the day my Grandfather passed away. This shot is from the hat that was part of his U.S. Navy uniform which he proudly wore while he served our country and protected our freedom on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater during World War II. This Veterans Day will be difficult without him to call on the phone and thank, but I am comforted and so thankful for his love, and service to our great country.

The hat may be old and worn, the soldier may be gone, but his service and sacrifices as well as the millions of other Veterans will NEVER be forgotten.

It is very likely we all know a Veteran, either yourself, a family member, family friend, or an acquaintance - but do you truly know the sacrifices these individuals have made for us and our country?

Admittedly, I knew a lot of Veterans, and even had a family member, my Grandfather, who was a World War II Veteran, but I never really got it. I never really understood the types of sacrifices these individuals selflessly made for their country and millions of people who they did not know. Fortunately for me it finally set in when I was around the age of 13 and then my Grandfather's stories, pictures, and medals hanging on the wall weren't just a part of his life history but a part of my life and education. Unfortunately he is gone - and it still pains me greatly - my Grandfather's amazing experiences, hard work, sacrifices, and love of his family and country carries on through his military service. I am so amazingly lucky to have heard and learned from all of his war stories and experiences through my life until last year, but we are all lucky for the service the millions of other Veterans have so selflessly given us throughout the history of our country. Regardless of your political affiliation, who you voted for, whether you're excited for "Change" or nervous for the future, please remember that we live in an amazing system that respects and conforms strictly to democracy and our constitution. This democracy, and our freedoms that we so casually enjoy today would not be here without the sacrifice of my Grandfather and the millions of others who served. Thank a Veteran today!

Happy Veterans Day.

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