This beautiful flag, crafted by students, was made of construction paper rings and draped over the railing of the upper level of the gymnasium. It extended down to the gym floor.The size alone is impressive. The time to create it and the dedication of those who made it – amazing. The colors streaming down, catching the rays of sunlight on a crisp autumn day, turns the heart to thoughts of patriotism and dedication to the country we cherish.
This school would each year celebrate Veterans Day with a special service, including patriotic songs, poetry and readings prepared in advance. It was dedicated to those who fought in wars, who died, who returned with the scars or lost limbs or broken hearts. The local VFW would describe the symbolism of the Prisoner of War Table set for One which was instituted after the Viet Nam conflict. Taps would be played. The Pledge of Allegiance spoken.
They would honor each veteran in attendance with a red rose and a packet prepared by students, containing letters, poetry and thank you notes regarding their service. These young ones have not had much exposure to war in the past few years. It’s all very far away. Even the 9/11 attack is unknown to most of them. The largest wars they have faced are those within America’s own citizenry.
There is nothing to celebrate when it comes to war. Lives are lost, blood is shed, dreams shattered and minds forever changed. The idea of patriotism is waning in our land. The heroes of days gone by must be remembered – not only because many veterans gave the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives in service of this county – but because this country is worth fighting for.
Sometimes that thought is drowned in the news of the day – the lies, bigotry, hatred and misinformation that we face. No matter what you think about politics or the state of our nation, the defense of this country has not waivered.
Many years ago, a rag tag group of farmers and merchants banded together to achieve their independence from a tyrannical government on the other side of the pond. They won, not because of their superior fighting skills or knowledge of war, but because they knew this land was better than anything they’d ever experienced. Through many battles on our own ground, blood has continued to flow. Lives have been altered and many times soldiers didn’t even realize what the fight was about. They accepted the duty as a soldier to protect and preserve what had come to be.
We might think that our nation has become polluted with a decline in morality, depravity, excess and narcissism. We might even wonder why we should risk lives to protect it. Still there are those whose hearts are filled with patriotism. Young men and women who daily choose to join the armed forces for the sake of making a difference in the country they love.
War has been with us since the days of Cain and Abel. The greatest struggle between good and evil came to be when man decided he was smarter than God. Wars over territory, religion, greed, hate and poverty will remain until Jesus returns to judge the world.
Thank those who have dedicated their lives to serve. Honor the memory of those who gave their lives. Thank God for providing those who still have the courage to stand up for their beliefs.
HAPPY VETERANS DAY!