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Veteran's Day: How Do You Commemorate It?

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posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:38 PM
I suppose this may not really be a "political" thread, and if the mods think it belongs elsewhere, you know I'll always defer to your judgment.

But I just wanted to talk about Veterans Day here in America, what you think about it, and -- if you're an American -- if you have any special ways of observing it.

As an example, it is my custom on Veterans Day to pour out a libation while saying a little speech to my fallen comrades in arms. Then I salute the sunset.

It may be silly, but I always feel better once I've done it. And indeed, as I have done so many times before, I did so today.

I suppose this sort of thing might not make sense to most people, and heck, I'm not a veteran of combat myself, just six years of (thankfully) peaceful service in the U.S. Navy.

But I know my buds, and every time I hear that one of my beloved countrymen has fallen in battle, I think about what that means.

Most often that means we the people of the United States of America have lost one of our sons, though we have many brave daughters who also serve gallantly in defense of our nation.

Each time I hear that a soldier of our nation has died, in my mind I see him as I am sure he would want me to see him, as a brave soldier and countryman who stood up -- and died for -- everything we as Americans hold dear.

But my conscience will not let me off so easily.

For I also see him as a young man full of promise, cut down in the flower of his youth, a man who might have gone on to become the patriarch of a great family, with scores of grandchildren playing around his feet and a smile of deep contentment upon his face.

But that shall not be his fate, for he shall never grow old, shall never live to see such a day, shall never know such contentment, because he has forfeited these wondrous privileges in service to the country I hold so very, very dear.

And it is that which brings tears to my eyes each time I commemorate Veterans Day, because ultimately I don't see them as soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines, but as brothers and sisters, fellow Americans, and fellow human beings.

Perhaps it is a curse which has been visited upon me, but what I see in my mind's eye are young men and women who gave everything in defense of an ideal, an ideal so fragile and precious that it would be blown away by a tender spring breeze were it not nurtured and defended by those who stand strong on its behalf.

Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

And he was right.

On this day, if there were only one thing I could say to my fellow veterans and fallen countrymen, it would be this:

I love you.

A bit sappy, perhaps, but I do.

What are your thoughts on Veterans Day, and do you have any special ways of commemorating it?

[edit on 11/11/2006 by Majic]

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 12:51 AM

Thank you, both for what you have done in service for this country, and for this post. I, unlike many friends, recognize that the service, whether it was combat or not, is imperative in keeping our military in current working order.

The post is important to me because I, though I never served my country, I did in fact lose my father to Vietnam. I never knew my father well, and I wasn't allowed to serve my country like he did because I was unacceptable due to sexual orientation, and wouldn't lie about it if asked. Though I would be willing to die for my country, they wouldn’t let me risk it (Does that mean they value gay’s lives? Subject for another thread).

I remember my father three times a year: Veterans Day, his birthday and my parents wedding anniversary. All three of these days for special reasons.

I remember my father in very vague and shadowy memories, him bringing home a brand new car for my mom on their wedding anniversary, and my mom having a surprise birthday party for him. And Veterans Day, for what he gave for his country.

I remember a very big, strong and quiet man. A man who was very quick to laugh, and would always be there when I was hurt and crying. I felt a very large loss when he left and never came back. But today I am grateful to him, and those he served with.

Several of his Brothers in Arms, his comrades, came back from the war and told me of him, and his deeds. I am proud of him, and I am proud that my family gave to this country. And I am grateful to all those who do serve, and protect.

Without question we have the most honorable, bravest… I get choked up when I think of those heroic men and women, who at a moments notice, dropped their lives, and headed off to the farthest reaches of the world for their country. In the worst conditions possible in this world. I remember them, and their families, and their children.

Especially their children, for what they are giving up: a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister…

I always pray for them, but especially on a day like Veteran’s Day, because this is a day we specifically decided to set aside for them…

Our Heroes, our human saviors, our Brothers, our Sisters… For without them, and their predecessors just like them, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms and rights that we have in this country…

I do have a drink (or two or three...), and I too salute them. And I have friends over, and we BBQ, and I tell them of the man, just a man to be sure, but a man of honor… A man willing to sacrifice for his country… A man who gave what was his to give in order that I, and all of us, would continue to enjoy the freedoms that this country offers to us.


posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 01:00 AM
Duty And Honor

Originally posted by SkittlesLA
The post is important to me because I, though I never served my country, I did in fact lose my father to Vietnam.

As far as I'm concerned, if you:

1. Obey the laws (as best you can)

2. Question the government (as is our duty), and

3. Vote according to your conscience (as is our right),

Then you have served your country well.

I think military service is a special kind of service, in light of all it entails.

But I don't ever want any of my fellow Americans to consider it an obligation. :shk:

If you do your best to be a good citizen, then I salute you, because that is a commitment worthy of honor.

On this day we honor veterans, but on every day, we should honor Americans.

At least, that's how I see it.

P.S. I don't give a damn what anyone else may about Vietnam, your father is a hero. Period. God bless him and his family, including you. Be proud, because you are the son of a hero. Never let anyone take that from you. As for what path you may choose (sexual orientation or otherwise), never let anyone dissuade you from it, because freedom is the only thing any of us has that's worth dying for.

Never ask for permission to be free.


[edit on 11/12/2006 by Majic]

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 09:18 AM
Well is hard to come to terms in this day when due to heorism one loses family members that will never be with us anymore.

I never knew my mother's father or two of my uncles because two die before I was born and the last one die when I was too young to remember.

But I still got my father, my brother, my husband and father in law that served this country and became veterans.

My husband tends to be more touchy or senstive on Veterans day that I will ever be because he has known some of the people that has died in Iraq, quite a few.

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:58 AM
I usually don't do anything special. Yesterday, I worked.

I am a Life Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, but have not been active since I moved to New Mexico.

In the past, I have attended functions put on by the veterans' organizations, but I am not well disposed to large crowds and the like, so I prefer to reflect quietly on meaning of the day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of my own service and those with whom I served, so for me Veterans' Day is really everyday.

I also have a Purple Heart license plate that is, naturally, always on my car, so even though I didn't wear any ribbons or medals yesterday, my car did.

[edit on 2006/11/12 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 11:01 AM
I Know a few pople that have the purple hart license plates, my husband just gets the retired one becaue is free.

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 11:08 AM
The Purple Heart plates here in NM are free, also. If we had to pay for them, I'd either have a regular one or one of the Marine Corps ones, which looks very nice.

[edit on 2006/11/12 by GradyPhilpott]

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