The maple tree has lost its shining leaves. That today’s rain and wind have swept away all traces of red and gold seems somehow appropriate, for tomorrow is Veteran’s day.
War and strife seem to be a constant to the human condition throughout recorded history. The last century bloodied the page with two horrific world wars. In my own lifetime there have been World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Iraq… and the conflict in Afghanistan is still ongoing. Through it all fighting men and women have marched or flown or sailed out to meet the challenge and the danger, have knowingly put their lives in harm’s way for home and country.
Some will march in Veteran’s day parades, their medals and ribbons testifying to courage and sacrifice beyond our understanding. These veterans may remember the beach at Normandy or battles in the Pacific; they might recall the icy winds of Korea or the heat of desert and jungle. They will have memories of hardships faced and friendships forged. But foremost in their memories, I think, will be the lost comrades, so many, so very many, who could not come home.
There are heroes on the home front, too—those who wait for husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who are stationed far away. They wait with hope that their loved ones are safe and will return, and on Veteran’s day we are reminded that as a nation we all share that hope.
Tomorrow we will honor all who serve and those who have served. We will honor the men and women who are far away in distant lands; we will thank those who have come home, their duty done. And we will remember those who can never again march in a parade; we will honor them with pride and with tears and pledge to always remember their sacrifice.
Someday, soon, let there be peace throughout the world!
Buffeted by wind
Tree has lost its shining leaves…
But we remember.