Perhaps I'm the only one who gets annoyed this time of year when big box retail operators invent new ways to cram the various holidays dotting the calendar into one lavishly extravagant celebration of selfish consumerism. But I doubt it.
Less than a week ago, jack o'lanterns and skeleton costumes were rubbing elbows with pilgrim hats and turkey window decals which, in turn, were on store shelves with tree ornaments and artificial door wreaths. HallowThanksXmas in all its glory.
Before we rush headlong into the 2014 Going Out of the Holiday Business Sale season, even as we gather lawn signs from election contests that ended yesterday, might I suggest we pause next Tuesday, November 11, to say a brief thank-you to all who have served in our Armed Forces, from the days of the Revolutionary War through Two World Wars and the Cold War to Operation Active Endeavor and opposing ISIL in the Middle East.
Not sure what our the nation's department stores have planned for their annual holiday promotional tie-ins but I'm sure it will great (for their bottom line). I'm thinking perhaps a BOGO on Size 44 Triple-E jump boots or maybe a lunch deal on Meals Ready to Eat in their employee cafeterias?
Around here we do things a little more quietly and with more reverence and respect. There are numerous observances across the region but there's one I always visit and hope you will as well.
At eleven Tuesday morning, because that's the hour and the day in 1918 in which the armistice was signed ending World War I (the war to end all wars and the precipitant for the holiday we now call Veterans Day) at Taftville's Memorial Park (at the intersection of South B Street and Norwich Avenue) will be the Taftville Veterans Day Ceremony.
As a U. S. Air Force veteran, I'm appreciative of the attendance and participation by not only many other veterans of all the services, active duty and reserve, but also for the support by the Norwich Area Veterans Council in organizing it and the Three Rivers Young Marines and local members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart who honor all of us with their presence.
It can be hard sometimes to find the time in the hectic pace of 21st Century America to say thanks to the literally millions of men and women who felt the need to shout "send me!" when their nation asked for their help.
There's a lot more to being a veteran than a linen sale held in your name. It means being part of the foundation of your community wherever it is and giving your time, talents and treasure to help set your country right and to keep your country strong.
If you are a veteran thank you for your service, not just Veterans Day but everyday.