Monday, November 19, 2007

I made it to Arlington

A long-time military friend who lost his wife to cancer several years back always has a hard time with Veterans Day* because it's her birthday.

Sadly, many American adults today don't know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

I wish I'd had this short film (below) to watch and song to listen to on Veterans Day--even if it is more appropriate to Memorial Day.

Actually it's good any day . . . because we're free Americans every day of the year thanks to the men and women resting here. Rest in peace you heroes and heroines! I am very thankful for your sacrifice! As a former service member myself, I often wondered if I'd be called upon to give what you did. You have not only my undying gratitude, but also my most heartfelt admiration and respect. I remember walking among the crosses, stars and stones on my family's trip to Washington a few years back. We sat on the steps and watched the complete changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier several times through even though my children were still quite young. We were all fascinated and inspired.

On this day in 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Arlington Cemetery lies on land which used to belong to General Robert E. Lee. November is a month which Americans dedicate to giving thanks and Catholics commit to remembering those who have gone on to the next life.

God bless all of you and God bless America!

* Veterans Day is an American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

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