You know, there truely are few things in life that really touch you emotionally. Marriage, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one. I've had the honor and privilege of being a part (twice) of a different kind of deeply moving event. Our Interstate 17 was dedicated as an Arizona Veteran's Highway. Last year, at this time, a local man arranged the dedication of an incredible monument at one of the rest areas along I17. The monument is in respect and dedication to ALL veterans current and past, of all branches of service. The monument is beautiful and the inscription is deeply touching, moving my to tears each time I read it. This year, that same man arranged the placement of a new flag pole at the same rest area, to go along with the monument. We now have an American flag which has flown over our nation's capitol (thanks to John McCain's assistance with arranging this), an Arizona flag which has flown over our state's capitol, and a POW/MIA flag in honor of our fallen heroes. Both the monument and the flags received Department of Public Safety escorts for the trip up from Phoenix, with full military honors including a fly over for last year's monument dedication (they'd planned for a fly over this year, but was cancelled due to wind conditions). I couldn't hear the man's name who is working on the 'Run for the Wall' project, but he said on the road they call him "Hollywood". This is a pic of the flag they asked all of us to sign. This flag will be placed at the Wall. As the Team Leader for the Girl Scouts of my area, I was asked to invite all of our girls to attend both ceremonies. We went last year and walked away a bit different than when we arrived. I jumped at the chance to go again this year. You see, I witnessed an incredible thing that most people will probably never be able to see in their lives. I saw men and women of all ages, 20 to 80 and up, come together as brothers and sisters. Didn't matter when/where/why they served, they were ONE. The camaraderie, love, and passion these wonderful people share is amazing. They'd expected some 500 bikers yesterday. I grew up in the 'bikers are bad' era, and until last year, I carried that with me. When I first saw all those leathers and rags, it was a bit unnerving considering I was responsible for the safety of all my girls. However, I got there yesterday with a totally different opinion, and was looking forward to seeing them again. I talked with a trucker before the ceremony. He'd slept in his sleeper cab at the rest area the night before and had no idea why all those people had converged there suddenly. Through the course of our conversation, he shared that he'd served during Vietnam. Came home tall and proud in his uniform. Stepped off the plane to stones being thrown at him, being booed by the crowd. For serving our country when he was called to do so. Said he'd carried that feeling with him since the day he set foot back on American soil. Until yesterday. His voice broke and I could see tears slowly begin to stream down his face. Said they never did anything like this back home. I imparted to him that I was grateful for his service. For his sacrifices, for his willingness to give his life for me, for my children. For our country. And so........ While I realize Veteran's Day was a few days ago, I wanted to say to all Veterans.............THANK YOU. If it weren't for you and everything you've done, I would not enjoy the luxuries I have today. Because of you, Old Glory flies proud and free all across our land.