They say that greatest generation is made up of those that I associate with my grandparents. Those who were born early enough to have lived in the Great Depression era, and were (or faked being) old enough to enlist in World War 2.
Those who created, by virtue of the post war celebration of life, the baby boomers.
Today, really though, I am focusing on the veterans, not just those of WW2…but all of those brave souls who have yet to give up their final fight – even as they may be struggling every day with the ravages of war. In the end of my grandfather’s life, just over a year ago…the memories came flooding back. Everything that he kept hidden from us, when he put on a brave face and said nothing, not even “it was bad, but not that bad”.
We know it was bad. It was worse than we can imagine.
We keep a perpetual calendar and on this month is a note to honor our family veterans – not that we need a reminder, but it is my grandfather’s rank, area of war fought and the ship he was on in the Navy. Also on this list is my paternal grandfather who passed away just a year ago (I think the loss of him in our lives is just hitting me now more than ever…) and our very close friend Jack whose rank we continue to update as he serves our country.
There are many others we know and love and appreciate, but these 3 men fit on the sticker that the kids used to bring to school to say “I know a veteran.”
The middle school doesn’t go through this in class like they used to in elementary school, but they host a rather large gathering of veterans and honor them with song, thanks and the opportunity to share stories of their lives and what they have learned over the years. I am not saying, in any way shape or form that the only ones who should be honored are those from the greatest generation…nor just those who fought in Afghanistan and the Dessert Wars – but all people who have fought to make and keep this country free. ..to give us the ability to make decisions and live our lives the way we choose to live. Thank you and an annual holiday is not nearly enough. May you have a safe and peaceful Veteran’s Day, and every day thereafter.
~ With many tearful thanks…Dawn aka Hat Girl