Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by 65browneyes, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. 65browneyes

    65browneyes Songster

    Mar 2, 2007
    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.
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    My husband George is both , a soldier in the US Army and a war veteran. Actually it was a peace keeping mission in the balkans but they got shot at anyways.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    That is really a beautiful and touching story and makes me once again ask for good thoughts, prayers, etc., to my SIL in Iraq. His name is Robert and is 22 years old.
  4. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Riding with the Patriot Guard RIders and showing my children both sides of the argument was a major highlight of my life over the last few years. TO see both the pride and patriotism of the Riders, to see them respect the law that allows wackos to speak is as important. I am glad you got to see them in action if it was them.

    I want them to see that hatred exists and needs to be watched and countered. That such a counter resistance can be peaceful. And that freedom of speech is worth protecting even when you disagree with what the other person is saying.

    Our veterans need to be most profoundly respected for their sacrifices and we here at home need to always remember that.......

    Thank you for posting this.
  5. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    As a veteran myself, who is married to another veteran, I only have two things to say to everyone.

    Thank you for understanding and thinking of us. My wife and I served proudly during war and time of peace. Please value your freedoms and liberties. You may not think so or be able to see it, but on your worst day, you have it sooo much better than most of the world. If you only knew, or could see first hand, you would walk away with a profound sense of humility, for taking your country for granite.

    We're eating for free at Golden Corral tonight!!! WOOT WOOT, free steak and okra, WOOT WOOT, free mac and cheese, WOOT WOOT, cake and cookies, WOOT WOOT, hep meh please!!!! (( I'm raising the roof when I say that.))((And dancing))WOOT WOOT!!!
  6. 65browneyes

    65browneyes Songster

    Mar 2, 2007
    One group was the Patriot Riders, yes. Amazing group of people.

    I wanted to add that one man, a Marine who served in Vietnam was talking with me, when one of 'my girls' (from a neighboring area) walked up to him and asked if he was a Vet.

    "Yes, a Marine and I served during the Vietnam war," he answered proudly.

    "Really?? Do you know my cousin, Billy.........."

    He explained that there were SO many marines that it would be hard for him to say for sure.

    She said, "Well, his 'maiden' name (yes, that's what she called it) is 'this', but his name now is 'that'."

    "Oh, that name DOES sound familiar." I'm sure he was lying to avoid hurting this little girl's feelings.

    This is just another example of the bonds that were seen that day. When I was that little girl's age, I never would have dreamed of walking up to a perfect stranger, much less a man dressed in leathers, and talk to him.

    I just really can't even begin to fully and properly explain how moving Saturday was. Words truely will never do it justice. I wish so much that everybody could witness and appreciate such a thing. Not to mention understand the depth of our Veteran's sacrifices.
  7. Verboten

    Verboten Songster

    May 25, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    Nice post.
    On Veterans Day (and the week before) I thanked every Vet that I know or met. What gets me sad is that some who did not serve during war time (there have been generations of men between them) or who are currently serving or have served during war but not 'over there' seem a bit apologetic during conversation. They were and are there if called upon and have served with no less honor.
    Thank you all so very much!
  8. English Chick

    English Chick English Mum

    Jun 27, 2008
    Cheshire UK
    A fantastic tribute to all Veterans, it makes you feel humbled. My father fought in Burma during the WWII, I have all his photographs and his medals, including his British Servicemans Papers, they will always hold a sacred place in my heart for those who fought for their countries and still do to this day.

    BRAVO - A standing Ovation to you all, past, present and no doubt their families, BRAVO for the support that is always there.

    To you all I raise my glass of hope and freedom and say THANK YOU
  9. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    As I said yesterday, we went to the military appreciation free dinner at Golden Corral last night and it was a blast. There were so many stories like the one in the topic, old war stories, stories about heros, and just stories of how much fun people had while serving. There were people of all races, religions, ages, and backgrounds, all eating together with that common bond that you only find in that type of setting. I have much to be thankful for to the Navy. If I never went, I would not have the son and wife that I adore so much, I would not have the experiences traveling the world, and most importantly, I would not have the awareness that I do about how good we actually have it here compared to anywhere else. I pat myself on the back and I say thank you to my wife and all other veterans for serving proudly!!!

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