Today has been a very nostalgic day with thoughts awakening and weighing heavily on my dad. He survived the horrors of WWII to come home to a country that respected its soldiers. Ticker tape parades and shouts of joy surrounded those returning to their homeland. Cheering and waving from the decks of transports which brought our soldiers back to the United States could be seen and heard throughout the city streets and country roads around the nation. Thousands upon thousands touched the shores of America wounded or crippled with those who appeared whole physically being torn apart mentally.
What do we truly know of war if we have not stood in their shoes? Can we undeniably feel the pain, sense the emotion, understand war’s wrath from what is spoken through broken voices or spilled onto pages reflective of blood, guts and bone? For so many, the memories are too painful so they lie dormant within the shadows of the mind, blocked out of the mental scrapbook and diary.Many wars have been fought on foreign shores since WWII and its predecessor, the Great War, WWI. In each war, soldiers returned home very different from those who had left months, perhaps several years, earlier. On occasion, wives, mothers, sisters and girlfriends didn’t even recognize their men for the injuries, disease, stress and living conditions had taken their toll.
So as we rise each morning, stretch and yawn, like the morning glories in full bloom, let’s take a few moments and pause in honor of those who have served, are presently serving or will serve in America’s military forces. Theirs is a day in which they rise each morning, stretch and yawn, but much different from the morning glory in that they must be watchful of the predator waiting and lurking within the shadows of the day for its next victim.
Next time you see a person in uniform be sure to shake his or her hand and let each of them know how much you appreciate their service and their choice to fight for YOUR freedom. And, above all, welcome them home with warm smiles and open arms for they have sustained the horrendous burdens of war in America’s honor. Last, but not least, do not forget why they are protecting our shores. It was not America that began the battle but like our forefathers she will end it, as long as we honor, protect, and defend her with her enemies continuously recognizing, never forgetting, her strength.Thought of the Day:
As John Dickinson quoted in his revolutionary war song, The Liberty Song — “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” (Boston Gazette , July 1768)