Today America commemorates Veterans Day. This is a day to formally honor those who have served our country, in all branches of our Armed Forces. It is a day to remember those who are currently serving, those who are veterans, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. When I left for work this morning, I got a lump in my throat driving down our street. It was lined with large American flags. The Boy Scouts had been up early, to carefully place them in each front lawn of the neighborhood. Becuase I was running late, I decided to take the freeway. I noticed that a senior citizen was following me awfully close. When I changed lanes, he changed too, and stuck right behind. It was starting to annoy me. As soon as I exited, he followed, and started honking and flagging me to pull over. I rolled down my window wondering what in the world the crazy old guy was shouting. I was startled to find out that my rear tire was in trouble, and he warned “she’s about to BLOW”! I waved appreciatively, and drove off ashamed of myself for being so hasty to judge my kind samaritan.
I was blesed to be nearby a service station, and was able to get help before “she blew”. While I sat in the small lobby waiting for my tire to be brought back to life, I noticed a program being shown on the television set. It was honoring ”The Greatest Generation” – our World War II veterans. I watched with interest, and gratitude.
Last year, I wrote a post honoring my own personal hero and grandfather, Commander Dallis J. Christensen. Grandpa Dallis served as a Navy pilot throughout WWII. He’s 94 years old now. He and grandma June had to move into an assisted living center a little over a year ago. It broke his heart. These days, his body shakes from Parkinson’s disease, and there’s a little shuffle in his step which causes him to get off-balance, but his mind is as sharp and his humor as witty as a 20-year-old. It’s been over 60 years since the Great Conflict ended. It was reported that our WWII heros are dying on average 900 – 2000 per day. Within five years, most will be physically unable to leave home, and within 10 years, they will only remain in our hearts and our memory.
One organization is racing against time to give these veterans one final standing ovation. They offer a free escourted trip to our nation’s capitol to see the newly dedicated, and long overdue, World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. This organization is called Honor Flight.
I share my inadequte, yet heart-felt THANK YOU to all of our veterans. May each of you feel appreciated, loved and honored, today, and every day.
Please take a few minutes to watch this touching video documenting a recent Honor Flight.