I went to an event last night. It was billed as a “USO dance”, scheduled for the 68th anniversary of Victory Day. So I wore my faux-seam-nylons and came ready to dance. (Generally speaking, I plan to dance at dances).
What I didn’t realize is that, while there was dancing, a large percentage of the evening was dedicated to remembering and honoring our veterans. Veterans from many conflicts were present, but special honor was paid to those who had served in World War II.
Some of the students at the school had interviewed the WWII veterans and service workers as a part of their project, so they wanted to thank everyone who participated. There was also the High School Choir singing songs of the era, a community jazz band, and the Jr. ROTC.
We danced, listened to some of the interviews, and mingled.
I have an acquaintance who is currently studying to be a doctor. He has (had?) a rotation at the Veteran’s Hospital. He says that when he walks into a room of patients, he can tell instantly if they were WWII Veterans or not…and not just because of the age! But rather because of the attitude, I guess. The sacrificial persona.
Wanna see some heroes?
At one point the Jr. ROTC marched forward and presented a wreath in memorial for those whose lives were ended in the war. A man from the band came to the front and played “Taps” as we stood.
The woman in front of me broke down weeping.
It was pretty intense.
I wonder why. Did she lose a brother? A sweetheart? Her husband?
I didn’t want to ask though, you know?
Maybe it was just her youth. She sacrificed a carefree youth and countless other pleasantries to help defeat evil.
That’s pretty incredible right there.
Dancing was interspersed through the night, and we danced with each other and talked and danced some more.
Last night I slept well. I drove to work this morning. I watch my sister graduate this afternoon. We’ll party at our house with friends on the green lawn with hamburgers and hot dogs (and veggie burgers, I think).
I checked a book out of the library on Monday. On Tuesday I had a meeting with people planning to travel to Spain in the summer. On Wednesday I went to mass. Today I read the internet.
Freedom feels really good. I realize that I don’t appreciate it enough.
But, when I saw the men and women last night…for a few moments…I remembered.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Your sacrifices make the world a better place.