November 11, 2010

My Grandpa: Veteran, Hero.

Today is Veteran’s Day. I’m sure that has been evidently clear as you have not been able to go to the bank, no mail has been delivered, your student did not have school, and most Facebook statuses are uncharacteristically patriotic. Being a private school, Pacific did not take Veteran’s Day off… but the holiday was on the forefront of my mind all day.

When I was in elementary and high school, Veteran’s Day was celebrated with great pomp and circumstance in a patriotic collaboration of all the students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade. I was a part of it every year. For me, Veteran’s Day meant that my grandparents would come to our patriotic production, I would give my grandpa a miniature American flag, and he would cry during the “Salute to the Armed Forces” – a medley of all of the anthems of the branches of the Armed Forces sung by the combined K-12 choirs .  It was always very emotional. (and, yes, I still remember every word to that song!)

Now that I am out of school and am not able to participate in the festive production put on by my first-grade teacher (and, yes, she organized it every year for like 100 years), it would be very easy for Veteran’s Day to pass me by.  However, I have a few significant reasons to make sure it does not.

  1.  My maternal grandfather served in the Air Force for years… in fact, nearly the whole time my mom was growing up.  My grandma and grandpa endured extended periods of separation while he was on his assignments. I love hearing his stories. He really is a hero – though he is far too humble to admit it! My grandpa is likely one of the most patriotic people I know.  His love for his country and his fellow man are convicting and unparalleled.  I am so proud of him.

  2.  I vividly remember the events of 9/11 – as many do, I’m sure – and as the horror stories of the war continue to pour in, I am all the more thankful for men and women who are willing to risk their lives for the sake of our freedom and saddened at that state of our world.

  3.  Last night, I went to Bible study. Standard Wednesday night activity.  How often do I fail to recognize the sacrifices that have been made in order to maintain that freedom?

I called my grandpa today to thank him for his service and his sacrifice. While he seemed appreciative of the call, he said something that didn’t surprise me, but resonated with me nevertheless. He humbly thanked me for the call and urged me not to let that phone call be the last – but to seek others who have served and thank them as well… on a day other than today.

So, off I go into the wild, blue yonder – more thankful than ever for the sacrifices of those men and women and prouder than ever of my patriotic heritage and my grandfather who has instilled patriotism in me. Thank you, Grandpa Phil! I love you!

"For nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!"

-Laura

My Grandpa and Me

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