Monday, November 12, 2012

Gratitude Days 11 and 12: Veterans Day

hypatia and noel in gardens
(My husband and daughter, a couple years after he returned from Iraq.  She was our post-deployment baby, and I remember on this day as I watched them both walking ahead of me that I was pierced with gladness that he had come home and that she had been born.)

Today I am grateful for all who have served.  I believe in service, and I my time served in the National Guard was an important part of my life.  I met so many people that I never would have known if I hadn't taken time before college to attend Army training.  I'm extremely grateful for the experiences I had, the training I received, and the opportunity to serve my community in times of fire, flood, and riot.

I am also grateful today for my husband's safe return from his time serving in Iraq.  We met in the National Guard, but my time in was peacetime.  His luck was different, and his year of combat was something we never expected.  I am so proud of him for self-lessly and stoically honoring his commitments, and I am so grateful that he was one of the lucky ones to return relatively unscathed.

War is never a good thing.  I wish our leaders the wisdom and will to always work for peaceful solutions.  But for those who fight, it is different.  They serve, with the very safety of their bodies, hearts, and souls on the line.  Thank you to all who have sacrificed and served.

A few quotes I like from this article:

"The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war." -Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit


"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." -Jose Narosky
"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." -Cynthia Ozick

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" -Maya Angelou
"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?" -George Canning
"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." -G.K. Chesterton
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?'" -Eve Merriam

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