November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Memories

Reposting from 2006

The picture shows a Cub Scout placing flags at the gravestones in the New Albany National Cemetery, my home town. It's one of one-hundred twenty-three national cemeteries, but it's the one that's clearly closest to my heart.

It was across the street from my elementary school, diagonal from my junior high, and probably three blocks from my high school. I spent many a time walking along the walls of the cemetery or walking beside them instead of on the walls when, for a time, I would choose to express deference toward those fallen and intered there. I never remember playing through the cemetery as I remember some friends doing, and the rare cuts through the cemetery were always oddly solomn for me, even though it wasn't anything resembling a spooky cemetery. There were nice, huge, old trees here and there, but the world was just outside the low walls, and nothing every was scary there to me.

And in 1991 my grandfather, a veteran of two American wars, was intered there. It is ther first funeral that I'd been through, and it just might still be the only one I've been through. He lived to a ripe of age - seventy-two - and certainly didn't die as any result of his service time, but it was comforting for the few years after that when I still lived in New Albany to know that I could stop by and see his gravesite at any time, nestled there among the rows and rows of identical headstones marking the graves of so many veterans and their families.

Today is Veterans Day, a time to remember how much has been given to us for what our country is today. No matter your feelings for the policies of the current administration - and mine are often negative - no matter whether you believe in the conflicts into which our current military men and women are being sent, remember to honor them for their sacrifice. Without those sacrifices, our country would not be what it is today.

Take a minute to thank a veteran today. Visit him or her. Stop by a memorial - the Chris Dyer memorial. Or simply pause your assuredly hectic life for a moment and thank them silently.

To know more about the New Albany National Cemetery, see any of these links:
Thanks, Grandpa...
Thanks, Chris...
Thanks each of you...

No comments: