Tuesday, November 11, 2008

300th and 11th


Ninety years ago in the cold days of November, a great war was winding down. It was signed into stillness in a railcar. It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 18th year of the new century. Since 1938, it has been celebrated as an official holiday. Given the large number of men and women who have fallen in the service of the United States, I think it a necessary, if small, gesture to remember them on one day a year.

Today is Veterans’ Day. Today is also the day of my 300th post. I humbly dedicate it to those men and women who have served or died in the service of this great country. Thank you all.

I have known many veterans. My grandfather served in Korea. My great uncle also served in Korea. Another Great Uncle (the exact relation is probably unimportant) was a B-17 pilot in WWII, and was shot down and captured on his first mission. My wife’s Grandfather served in World War II. I know of at least a few of my parents’ cousins who served in Vietnam. I personally have a cousin who served in Iraq during the first Gulf War. I have known many acquaintances who have served in several conflicts and still others who simply served. I worked with one guy who had been in Iraq shortly after we returned there for Saddam. There was another who served aboard the USS Coral Sea in the 1970s. Another who was a Sea Bee. And still another who served aboard the USS Missouri.

And then there are the few men I have met in passing. One gentleman was aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 in WWII as a Radar Operator. He remembered the fmed fighter pilot Butch O’hare. I met a man who had been on the Destroyer Preston, sunk in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He remembered the natives rescuing him and crewmates from the waters of Iron Bottom Sound. He also seemed surprised that I was familiar with the battle and his ship. I was simply honored to have a few moments with him. There was another who was aboard the USS Colorado. And one who was aboard the USS Arkansas. I have met men who served in other wars. One was in tanks in Vietnam. He remembered the M-551 Sheridan with fondness. Others have served in aircraft. Two gentlemen I spent an hour with in the cockpit of a EC-121 waiting for a rain storm to fade. They each remembered different phases of the Vietnam Air War from respective tours. I have been honored to share the presence of many servicemen, I hope to continue. I am thankful for them all.

I did not have to work today, on the down side, I do not get paid for it either. I began the day by waking to my lovely wife bringing me coffee. I took her some coffee at work in return and did a little grocery shopping. I am now home with the intention of doing some of the housework we seem inclined to sometimes ignore always ignore.

We have not had steaks for awhile, so I got some. They are presently marinating. I look forward to putting them over some hot coals this evening and using some wine to wash them down. A monumental salad seems to also be in order.

So, here’s to you and your Veterans! May we always be free to celebrate this day!!! Happy Veterans’ Day!! And Happy 300th Post.

2 comments:

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Glad you had a Great Day..
I will be over for dinner..

Cora said...

What a great day for your 300th post.
Happy Veterans Day
I love you