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My Blog

Thankful on Veterans Day

Good morning to everyone.  Another weekend gone.  I have a day of heavy working ahead  today.  Time to paint, paint and paint some more.  The Grove show reopens on next Thursday and runs through till next Sunday again.  If you haven't been out to The Grove in Glenview...come out a spend a wonderful day there.  Everything is handcrafted, the grounds are absolutely beautiful and if you are there as the sun goes down, you are treated to a vision of lit homes for the holidays. 
As for todays blog, it is clearly a hats off to Veterans.  As a child, the day was just another day that meant we had the day off from school.  I am not sure that as a child I fully understood what a Veteran was. 
Today is a mighty different story.  I am so grateful for all the things that I have living in
America and to know that what I have...all the rights and all the possibilities were given to me by these brave men and women through the years.  I know that we usually focus on the current war that we are in or even the ones that have recently effected us, but our freedom was given and protected for us during all times.  Being a storyteller awakened my knowledge of the first hand stories and information connected to the men and the women who fought to keep us free. The hardships that they went through and the sacrifices that they endured for you and me. 
I personally lost a good friend and neighbor during the Vietnam War.  I have to stop and think about all the men and women who came home after the wars with out arms and legs, with scars and wounds.  Their are soldiers whose bodies were in terrible explosions and fierce and cruel torture having been captured.  I have to stop and remember that some have tramped through unknown soils and through streets of the dead.  I have to remember that brothers sometime had been in the position where they fought each other. They have been to places you and I might have never dared to go in a million years. 
These brave soldiers have faced seeing children dying or even as their enemies.  I acknowledge their sleeping conditions for long periods of time. The lack of food and sleep sometimes on a daily basis.  Not to sit at the table for dinners with their loved ones.  They missed countless holidays and countless special occasions.  Some have missed the birth of their children, the marriage of family members, even the death or funerals of loved ones.  I remember back when my grandfather dies and my cousin was in the Army in Germany.  Back when I was 12, embalming must have been different, but I know that we waited days for him to get home to see his grandfather and pay his last respects and he couldn't get here in time.  He arrived after the burial.  He was devastated. 
Today, above all days, stop and thank God for the soldiers who have protected us through all wars.  They have all sacrificed a great deal for their country.  The one thing that is most precious, they gave. .....Themselves.    We will often honor the current Military servers...but we must remember that our gift of freedom is not just from today.  Stand up American and be grateful that their are these branches of service to our country.  That when we lay our heads down on our pillows at the end of the day we must thank God for the life and those who have protected it for us.  
I know that for those of us who have never seen what war is like, we have no yardstick to measure it with,
I saw the effects of war with my mother in law and she was not in the service, but instead, she ran for safety.  Until the day she passed away, there was this fear embedded in her.  Any noise would set it off.  An open window or door could mean danger.  The fireworks on fourth of July took her to a place and journey back in time that she did not want to relive.  She spent most of her days looking over her shoulder.  So, if that was part of her daily routine, I cannot phantom what a soldier must endure years after they have served their country.  I know of many men  and women who cannot handle fireworks because of what they were through.  Funny how what most off us look forward to and find as great beauty can be feared  and avoided by someone who has served.  Just a totally different perspective on reality.  When we stand to sing our National Anthem, or any of our countries songs, think about those men and women from our past. 
As we sing "And the rockets red glare...bombs bursting in air"  Sing in with respect not only for our flag but also for those who protected it for us.  I would like to say my person Thank you to each and everyone of you who may have fought so that I am free.  God Bless you and may he keep you safe. I am grateful that I finally have full knowledge of what Veterans Day is. 
I never really understood the Poppy significance until recently.  If you as a reader don't know what it stands for, I am posting it here for you and for those who have lost their lives so that we may keep ours.
 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie, 
In Flanders fields. 
Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.

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