Everywhere I've gone this morning, I've heard or read the words "Happy Veteran's Day!" "Happy?" Really? I thought that today was a day of remembrance, a day of somber reflection, a day for saying 'thank you' to those brave souls that served our Country and to our Allies, who fought alongside...but is it or should it be considered 'happy?'
I don't know how to answer that. I understand the PRIDE behind the words and I feel them, as well, so I know why some folks say it. But I've seen so many broken and damaged souls and bodies come home from wars and have a hard time wrapping my lips around the happy part. The things they've seen, the friends they watched die, the strangers they watched die, the ugliness that is war. The memories. The nightmares.
These men and women left their families, their jobs, their lives behind to protect us. To protect freedoms that we take for granted every day. Like me writing in this blog or on my FaceBook page. I can say whatever I like, whatever I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, sometimes what I probably shouldn't say, whenever the mood strikes me, because they fought for that. I can protect my family with my firearm skills because they fought for that. I can pray, anywhere, anytime, to any deity I choose, because they fought for that. They bled for that. Some died for that. Happy? For my freedoms, yes. For my right to pursue happiness as protected by American soldiers defending our Constitution. But I'm not sure I'm happy that they HAD to.
These people are doctors, lawyers, firemen, pipe layers, drillers, professional athletes, farmers, truck drivers, bikers, bankers, store owners, CEOs of corporations, auto mechanics, secretaries, nurses, and teachers. Some have limited education (like my grandfather who never made it past the 2nd grade). Some have PhDs, but they all had one thing in common....the call to serve. To defend what we've been given and make sure that it was never taken away....from those on the outside AND from those working within. They don't do it for the money, they don't do it for the thanks, they don't do it because they can. They do it because it's the right thing to do.
For that, I'm grateful & I will never forget them.