I normally live in the fantasy world in my head, but days like today that I make it a point to spend some time with reality.
There was a dedication ceremony along with the observance of Veterans Day at my college. To say that it was emotional for me would be an understatment. The mother was there for the ceremony and she got up before the dedication and spoke to us all about her son and his life. The strength in that woman amazed me. She lost her son to war 3 short years ago and she was able to stand strong in front of a packed lawn on the campus and speak. I have so much respect that she was able to live on and carry on the memory of her child.
I could harldy imagine the pain of a loss like that. I left the military not very long after I had my son. I could not imagine the pain of leaving my son without his mother. I was not brave enough to face that burden, but so many people live with those fears every day and so many more had those fears realized and are living with the pain of those losses every day.
The observance included several speeches from the staff of the college and a veteran student, but one of the most moving parts of the ceremony involved no speeches at all. Before the conclusion of the ceremony they had a moment of silence for all the veterans that have been lost to war and the clock tower chimed once for each of the students that have been lost and dedicated on the memorial at the college. Standing there in silence listening to the chimes you could hear many of the other students off in the distance laughing and going about their day. It seemed very symbolic to the fact that on this day during this ceremony there were still people who didnt know or care to know what some of us sacrifice every single day.
Those that sacrifice for us all have such a large extra burden on top of all the other every day life issues that we have to deal with. We need to take a moment to appreciate those extra sacrafices that our military make and have made. I believe it is our duty as americans to honor those and thank a veteran today or any other day.