Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bears Repeating

Today is Veterans Day, 2012. If what follows sounds familiar, it should. I wrote it last year and if anything, it's more true now. I'm not sure that's a good thing-but you have to make that decision for yourself.

Not everyone will make it to Taftville's Memorial Park this morning at eleven minutes after eleven o'clock for the Veterans Day observances sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2122. It may be just as well since it's a pocket park located at the intersection of South B and Norwich Avenues and a bit of a snug fit. We shall miss you as we pause to thank all those who wear and who have ever worn the uniform of any branch of our armed forces. Perhaps you might join us at our second observance, at one this afternoon at Chelsea Parade. Freedom of choice-one of those rights those in uniform protect and preserve.  

Some folks roll their eyes at some of the things I write or say and all I do is shake my head and suggest they attempt something anatomically difficult (though if successful, it would be the most productive endeavor some have been engaged in for years). I spent eight years in an Air Force uniform attempting to defend freedom of speech so forgive me if I choose to exercise some for myself as well.

This is not Memorial Day-we honor everyone in uniform, living and dead, past and present, today. When I was a kid, today was called Armistice Day, because it began as a commemoration of the end of The World War, which was later known as World War I for the sadly obvious reason that we had a World War Two. There was always a moment of silence to mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

We are a nation now at war for over a decade. Don't get confused when Kim, Lindsay, or the Housewives and the other useless mouths make daily headlines. Heroes and heroines in uniform are making a difference everyday and allow all of us to somnambulate with our eyes open as we don't see the lives we could have led because of the incessant assault we endure.

It's a new world and a new way of war but those making the sacrifice are the old souls who have always borne the burden--not just those at Forward Operating Bases marked with dots on the map of countries we cannot name but all those who whet the blade of the sword they wield in our name in defense of everything we are and will ever be.

We are more filled with self doubt and profound conflict as a nation than at anytime in the last four decades. There will always be light and dark, but we shall prevail because we must. For anyone, anywhere, now or then, in uniform who placed service over self, whenever and wherever that is and was, thank you.

Sometimes we forget the very words we meant to say-but as long as we don't forget those who earned that gratitude, we will always be worthy of their sacrifice.
-bill kenny

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