This flag waves and unfurls itself in the wind as it flies outside the home of an American patriot or on a flagpole located at a government building, school, or office building. A flurry of red, white, and blue also flutters in the cold, crisp November wind in a quiet cemetery.
This flag is displayed every day of the year, not just on holidays like Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, or today – Veteran’s Day. It represents not just this great country but all those who have protected it, guarded it, and in many cases, given their lives for it.
And this flag sometimes moves me to tears. My husband is a veteran of U.S. military service and although he did not see combat during his time in the military, he most ardently would have given his all for his country and his very life had he been given the opportunity to do so.
At Sunday worship in our church, our veterans were asked to stand and be appreciated for their service and as I gazed around the sanctuary noting the men standing there, including my own husband, I had to fight back tears. We owe these fine people so much.
I wonder how often we truly are thankful for our veterans and give them the honor and respect they deserve. We often see soldiers in uniform in public places but how many times do we approach them to shake their hand and thank them for what they do for us?
I am just as guilty as anyone for failing to do so and I know first-hand the sacrifices our military men and women make. And as I give thanks for all our veterans on this 11th day of November in my 30 days of thanks giving, I’m reminded of something I witnessed a few years ago when my husband and I were on a trip.
We had boarded our flight and settled into our seats in the coach section of the plane when a soldier in uniform boarded and sat in front of us. A few minutes later, a well-dressed suited businessman emerged from the first class section of the plane, walked back the coach aisle, and stopped in front of the soldier.
Quietly and without fanfare, he shook hands with the young serviceman, spoke privately with him, and then traded seats with him. That businessman gave up his first class seat so that soldier could enjoy a privilege the businessman probably uses every time he flies. And I have never forgotten that act of kindness and honor shown to a vet that day.
As I gaze at Old Glory flying high on this day set aside to honor and appreciate our veterans, she reminds me to express my gratefulness to every man and woman who sacrifice so much to keep our freedoms intact.
Thank you to each and every veteran for nobly serving our country and keeping us free. We owe everything we have to you. May God bless you and hold you safely in the palm of His hand.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” ~ Elmer Davis