Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Night And Day

I had been looking forward to the last stated meeting for months. Actually, ever since last November when we first had this particular program. This past Thursday we once again opened our doors to friends and family as we honored those who have served our country in the Armed Forces. Thankfully, despite some ups and downs over the past year, we were able to once again have nearly 20 veterans, brothers and non-masons, representing over two centuries of service honor us with their presence.

While I was unable to arrange for my family to be present, they were at the forefront of my mind throughout the entire evening. Not just immediate family but also those whom I had the pleasure of connecting with over the summer at the reunion. Obviously, this is also a night when I think back on the generations of family members who fought for us and also a time when I recall my own failed attempt to follow in their footsteps.

For those of us who are familiar with the sacrifices that many of these men have made, it is a night to celebrate those standing before us and also remember those who are unable to do so. Whether having passed long after donning a uniform or paying the ultimate price in the midst of war and conflict, all those who served to protect us, our way of life, and our country were recognized. It is a night that I recommend everyone attend regardless of whether or not they are a mason, veteran, man or woman. Everyone should take the time to show these veterans not only our respect but our heartfelt gratitude.  
However, these simple gestures of thanks should not be limited to ceremonies and celebrations. There are men and women we meet every day that should be thanked for what they have done for us. This is especially true today, Veterans Day, when we should keep our eyes open a little wide so that we might spot a veteran and go out of our way to thank them. And, along these lines, given the connectivity of the world in which we live, take this message onto Facebook or whatever your preferred social network might be (if you have not done so already). When you are there scroll through your list of friends and family. Those who are veterans, thank them, one by one. Don’t just post a blanket statement of appreciation.  

And, lastly, don’t let this be the only day that you offer your gratitude for the service of others. When given the opportunity, no matter what time of year or where you might be at the time, thank a veteran if you happen to meet one. After all, they have already paid the price so it doesn’t cost you a thing!