A moment that shines in my memory happened at the National Finals Rodeo, on December 7, 2008, during which the opening ceremony is traditionally bang-up magnificent, honoring those who served at and after Pearl Harbor. Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the USA”, and all us western types were on our feet, rocking that arena with our cheers. A color guard with representatives of all the Armed Forces presented the flag. All of this was deeply moving, but the best part was yet to come: proud veterans of Pearl Harbor, all in their eighties, stood at proud attention, saluting. I mean, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
These are people who quite literally saved the world, ladies and gentlemen. They and others like them, all the way back to the Continental Army, have won, preserved and protected our freedom, and that’s all too easy to take for granted.
Today, their modern and equally brave counterparts are fighting the same battles, for the same reason. May God bless them, and their families, one and all.
For all the problems we face today, as a nation, we are blessed beyond the wildest dreams of the Founding Fathers.
If you’re out and about to today, you might see someone in uniform, or someone selling red poppies. Buy one. (Hallmark has a great promo going on–you can buy one of those recordable story books for a soldier who won’t be home for Christmas. The soldiers can read the story, of course, and then the book goes back home, so the little ones can hear Mom’s or Dad’s voice. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?)
You can read what you want to read, say what you want to say and, as long as no-one else gets hurt, you can do what you want as well. A staggering number of good people have given life and limb to make that possible.
I know I’m grateful.
Thank a soldier. I do it all the time.