Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering our Veterans

Veteran's Day is one of those holidays that I don't often contemplate too much. This year, I gave it a little extra pause because as a government employee, it was a paid holiday (that's my shallow confession of the day). Yesterday, however, I was running some errands and while I was in the car I listened to a few short snippets from the memorial service at Fort Hood. I was particularly moved by the words of Commanding General III Corps and Fort Hood Gen. George W. Casey Jr.:

"It's a tradition in our special operations unit to go to the Book of Isaiah when eulogizing fallen comrades," said Gen. Casey. " At the funeral, they read, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking 'whom shall I send and who will go for us?' Then I said 'Here I am. Send me.'

"The passage conveys the sentiment that applies to every soldier in our Army. The violence that led to the death and wounding of others was unimaginable and it was a kick in the gut. Their loss left 19 children, spouses, parents and untold loved ones. What happened this past Thursday will impact the Army [forever.] The calm leadership of the command and the overwhelming outpour in support from the community; their responses in the aftermath of the tragedy have been uplifting, if not heroic.

I realize that lately my emotions have been at the surface (blame it on pregnancy), but the tears that came when I heard him quote the book of Isaiah were not just for those lost at Fort Hood, but for the many, many men and women that have stepped up and volunteered to defend the rights and freedoms that we (I) tend to take for granted.

In our family we have a history of military service, but it seems to have been lost with our generation... while I'm grateful that my brothers and husband have not "had" to join the service and I hope and pray that when my son will not have to fight in any wars or battles, I feel like it's that much easier for us to forget the sacrifices that so many people have made and are currently making. I am sure I'm not alone feeling grateful for those that willingly join the Armed Forces, all while feeling huge relief that it's not me or my loved ones making that sacrifice. I hope that I can make more of an effort to recognize and support those that are (and have been) a part of our military.

I loved that our Scouts put up flags along our streets today as a reminder of the heroism, sacrifice, and service that so many have offered for our country.