Thank you for your service, your sacrifice. Some sacrificed all, all sacrificed some.
I saw an old Marine today at my sons Veterans day assembly. He stood on shaky legs withered with age. His back was crooked, his body in it’s twilight of life. But this man stood with pride. He gave a salute with fingers that shook, and were swollen with Arthritis. He saluted the flag of our nation, and stood even though I could tell standing caused him pain. This man would not sit while our national anthem played as long as his lungs drew the breath, and his heart pumped the red blood of a Devil Dog.
This man was not alone, there were Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguards men in attendance. Each of these men and women stood with pride. I knew each one of them holds a deep love for this land of ours. Each Veteran gave something to it. Something they’ll never have again. They gave their youth. They left mothers, brothers and wives to board ships, climb aboard planes and leave their homeland for parts unknown to them, some never to return.
I felt honored to be standing among these men and women, and saluting the flag of my country along side them. I stood in my Scout Leader uniform, saluting with three fingers. Oh the difference a pinky makes.
To all veterans thank you. I thank all those of you who laid in trenches waiting for the next barrage. For those of you who flew amid flak so thick it tried to blot out the sun. To those of you who suffered oppressive heat, and enemies who melt back into the civilian population. I give thanks to you who cooked the meals, repaired the trucks, built bridges and trained new recruits. Thank you, all of you who gave a part of your life in the service of a people who at times may not be deserving of your sacrifice.
May we never forget.