November 11, 2003

Veteran's Day

Without going into the historical Armistice Day discussions, I'd like to touch on what Veteran's Day means to me.

My father is a retired U.S. Air Force Reservist, so I've grown up patriotic and appreciative of what our Armed Forces do. But when Sept. 12, 2001 dawned in New York, I gained a new appreciation for what our military is protecting.

After the tumultuous day on the 11th (see An unwanted anniversary), none of us -- my wife, my Dad, nor me -- slept well at our Brooklyn apartment. During the night, we had to get up to close the windows because the hideous smoke from the World Trade Center site was drifting through our windows.

So we rose relatively early. Dad and I headed out in search of any and all newspapers we could get our hands on -- as much for information as for their historical significance. Many papers were sold out already, and others had not arrived because of the disruptions in the city.

But when we got our stack of papers home, we turned to a page that carried a photo of FDNY firefighters hanging an American flag on a lightpole at Ground Zero. It was not what would become the famous flag-raising photograph, but it was the same sentiment.

And we saw that the flag WAS still there. That's what our troops risk their lives to protect.

May our prayers go out in support of those in harm's way even now.

Consider the long-forgotten final stanza of our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war�s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav�n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: �In God is our trust.�
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O�er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Posted by JRC at November 11, 2003 11:29 PM