I'm sitting here wanting to share my thoughts, but I just can't seem to find the right words. (THAT, is an understatement! I've written and re-written this umpteen jillion times.) The more I think about it, the more tears run down my face.
Tomorrow the kids and I will be making our usual Veteran's Day phone calls to our family members and friends that have served our country. We'll sing our simple song and then thank them for their service and sacrifice, and that we remember them. Those that live close by, we'll make personal visits, give them letters and we're adding homemade cookies this year.
As I was talking to G and J this past week about the coming holiday, G made a comment that still has me dumb founded. It caught me off guard and really made me think. We were talking about our Veteran heroes and the fact that C had just turned 18. C has wondered when he'll be receiving his "drafting" papers. I feel dumb saying this, but I didn't know that they still did that. Anyway...G overheard the conversation one day and then asked me about it another. In a rather disappointed voice he said, "If you have to go to jail rather than be drafted, that isn't free. I thought we were a free country!"
A flood of emotions came over me and that's when I knew that cooking dinner had to go on hold. I could hear in his voice that he was upset with that. I needed to silence or rather educate him so that he wouldn't grow up in ignorance or even worse, not appreciate the Veterans that I have had such a special feeling for all my life. I knew that I had a teaching opportunity in front of me. I knew that I had a real opportunity to teach patriotism to my son. It wasn't just about making phone calls and cookies anymore. It was about teaching my son about true sacrifices, the fact that freedom isn't free and how we are taught in the scriptures by Moroni to defend our country, our people, our rights, our religion, and to defend liberty.
Suddenly, all of my family heroes became super heroes in my eyes. Not once have I ever heard any of them complain about their freedom taken from them when they were drafted. I only know of some of the sacrifices that each of them made. I'll never know them all. No one can ever know anyone's entire story. I've seen some with emotional and physical scars as a result of serving in different wars and how it's taken a toll on their lives. Yet, they proudly stand as Veterans. They are remarkable, selfless, and humble people. These people are what patriotism is all about.
So to each of my family Veterans. Thank you. Thank you for your years of service. Thank you for putting your lives on hold. Thank you for teaching me to love this country. Thank you for being you and the way that you have conducted yourselves as a U.S. Veteran my entire life. YOU, are my heroes. I love you! As a mother of seven children and a daughter of a U.S. Veteran, I will continue to teach my children about the costs of remaining free. They too will know of each family Veteran hero. They will grow up having a love and appreciation for each one of you. Your service will not be in vain. You will not be forgotten.
To my friends and others that have served and are now serving our country today...Thank you. Thank you for taking such great pride in the work that you do. Thank you for defending our country and helping others. Thank you for making the many sacrifices that have and continue to do. Thank you for being willing to live far from family, leaving your own families for long periods of time or in a moments notice, seeing what we don't see and keeping us free back home. Our family loves and appreciates you.
It's wonderful to know that we live amongst heroes.
Happy Veterans Day!
ITP-a year later
2 months ago