As we have headed into the holiday season first by enjoying delicious treats at Halloween and now dreaming of those Thanksgiving meals and farther ahead to the smell of fresh cut pine and the suspense of opening Christmas gifts, I realized this week that there is a holiday slipped in there that often does not receive the attention it deserves.
That day of which I speak is Nov. 11, the day set aside to honor our nations' Veterans. These are men and women who have given of themselves on our behalf and it seemed, at least to me this year, that the date set aside for them was just one more three day weekend for many.
Instead, that day and many more, should be spent in remembering all these service members do for our country defending our freedoms and protecting us so that we may enjoy peace, prosperity and comfort in our homes.
We need to educate our children on the sacrifices made by these men and women over our nation's history and what they have given to secure the lifestyle we enjoy today. We need to take time to sit and listen to the stories of these folks and remember what they share with us and realize there is much that they do not share.
It was an honor for me, this past weekend, to sit and have coffee with a Veteran who has "adopted" my daughter. Garfield shared stories with us about his life and his family and even a little about his military service. To see his eyes sparkle when he received a hug or two, made the morning seem that it was must too short a time to give to someone who deserves so much more.
I also spent time this past Veteran's Day weekend attending ceremonies and watching a parade dedicated to the men and women from our community who have served. I was saddened by the low turnout at events, as if we are just too busy to give a little time to listen to a few words of a Veteran or watch as a ceremonial wreath or two is laid.
Shame on us. We need to make a point of not only remembering these dedicated individuals, but searching them out and offering to share a cup of coffee, an iced tea and some conversation. There are many, many Veterans in our community and it should be our honor to meet them, listen to their stories and thank them for their service, not only on Nov. 11 but throughout the year. I challenge you to take some time to spend a few moments with a Veteran today!