The room is packed; standing room only. It’s always this way at the Veteran’s Day service held at a local church in my town. The High School choir sings. The Middle School orchestra plays. The JROTC presents the Color Guard. And as each group is called to stand and be recognized, once again we are moved to tears:
“Veterans of WWI. Veterans of WWII. Veterans of the Korean War. Veterans of Vietnam. Veterans of the Gulf War. Veterans who have served overseas in the past 15 years. Veterans of peacetime.”
And they stand — Men with white hair, proudly wearing the pieces of their uniforms that still fit; Young men and women, one of whom is standing on a prosthetic leg; Middle-aged men and women who I recognize from the post office, the elementary school, the pharmacy and across the street.
Then there are those who stand holding a picture frame above their heads. Easily over one hundred picture frames; some faded, some new. And this is when the applause grows to a crescendo. There are no dry eyes. We are all on our feet now, we who have remained safe at home, protected. It is small…but we need to say, “thank you”. Though our “thank you” seems inadequate in light of the bravery and sacrifice that is embodied in this room, still we are compelled to at least try and express our gratitude.
For the men and women who have served our country, both at home and on foreign soil; for the families who have made tremendous sacrifices so that their loved ones can serve; for our active duty service men and women protecting us here and abroad; and for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and the freedom of untold millions, we express our heartfelt gratitude. On this Veteran’s Day and everyday, you are our Heroes. All of you.
– An Emery & Webb employee