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On Veterans Day

November 11, 2009

It is a beautiful thing when instilled reverence converges with deep understanding.  Growing up I learned through observation of those around me respect for our armed services, the people who serve, and the ceremony and symbols associated with them.  I did not know one person who didn’t hold the many men and women in uniform in the highest regard.  It was just what we did.  And having a small brain as most children do, I never wondered enough to appreciate the life we had because of what was not.   At the parades, the kids saw the bright colors, smiling faces, the flags and heard the patriotic music.  We sat on the shoulders of those who watched with veneration, them fully understanding the things that were not.  Why else would grown men and women cry at a parade?  I never asked.

Since then I have aged. My brains have grown. I have bred and now I must try and teach my children some important things.  Studies show that the most common question asked by children is “Why?”  It is also the most important one.  Last weekend I started briefing my littl’ns on the upcoming Veterans Day and encouraged lots of patriotic artwork.  In the days that followed we talked about Veterans Day;  about our military;  about peace;  about war.  The children and I were fast approaching a point in our discourse where I felt I could no longer hide from them this fact:  “Yes, kiddies, there are Monsters.  But no, they are not hiding under your bed.  I promise.”  I restrained myself and we had a tiny flag parade of our own instead.

The stories to hear must be retold each year and the history of this nation must be relearned each generation.  – Hugo

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