Freedom isn’t free. But I fear that an increasing number of citizens of our nation are losing the essence of this truism. Today, Memorial Day, has caused me to reflect on this. As I am writing this I am watching a rebroadcast of HBO’s “Band of Brothers” docu-drama about servicemen in World War II.
My own father served honorably in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. In the past several months I have been taking every opportunity I can find to personally express my gratitude and appreciation to veterans and to soldiers currently in service to our nation. Here are some examples. A few days ago I had breakfast with a friend in Tulsa, and there was a Vietnam veteran having breakfast alone (I could tell by the cap he was wearing). As I departed the restaurant, I went by his table, offered him a handshake and thanked him for his service. He seemed surprised, but he obviously thought well of it. As I was passing through a major airport a few weeks ago, several uniformed soldiers were hanging around waiting for their flight, and I passed among them shaking hands and expressing my appreciation to each one. They didn’t seem to mind at all. One said, “No problem.” Another said, “It’s an honor to serve, sir.” I also take advantage of similar opportunities to say thanks to law enforcement officers and firefighters, whenever I can do so without interfering with their duties. I don’t make a big deal out of it. I simply look them in the eyes and offer a short, sincere “thank you” for what they do. To date, not a single one has seemed bothered by this — on the contrary, all have received the sentiments well, albeit with some showing apparent surprise.
I invite everyone who reads this to join me in these personal expressions of thanks and appreciation. It will help both you and the recipient of your gratitude to have a better day.
This video is a good reminder of the sacrifices we are thanking them for.