Monday, November 11, 2013 Veterans Day

Today I watched. Today I cried. Today I felt my heart pull more than it ever has on Veterans Day. Today I came face-to-face with the family of a fallen soldier. A man who gave his life for our freedoms. A man who believed in his cause and our country. A man who was a son, a husband, and a father. So today, here, on this blog, in my world, I give that man a name. Sgt. Joseph Peters died honorably in the lands of Afghanistan. His father works at the same college that I do.

I have seen him on more than one occasion since the news of his loss. I have wanted to shake his hand or hug him or simply say "I'm sorry," and "I'm so thankful to your son." But I haven't. It's during those times that I loathe my awkwardness in approaching people. It's during those times I wish I could be less selfish about my own uncomfortableness and simply do what I know is right.

Today I watched a father speak about his son, and I quickly wiped the tears away. Today I listened to our National Anthem and felt it deep in my heart. Today I remembered why I believe in our military and I believe in what our country stands for. Today, I watched a small child not yet two run around and knew that he would never know his father because he willingly put himself in harms way to protect our lives and his blood was spilled in a far away land many of us couldn't even point to on a map.

Today I am humbled. And saddened. Today I reflect on so many that berate those of us brave enough to stand up in the face of opposition. Those of us brave enough to stand against a hatred so strong for our country and our citizens. I reflect upon the derogatory remarks or the unfair judgments the men and women of our military forces face daily. I reflect on the definition of "war crimes" and wonder how we can be so accusing from the comfort of our own homes. Our own sheltered lives. How can we be so accusing of men and women trained to kill in the name of our country? How can we so willingly chastise them for putting aside emotions in the face of such heartless conditions to ensure they keep us safe and....come home to their families living, breathing, talking.

I am not a religious person, so I don't have some great scripture to quote. Instead, I will merely put here what I put on my facebook page:

I have never known what it feels like to stand against an enemy on their soil who wants nothing more than to destroy my country, my family, my way of life. I will never pretend to understand the knowledge, willpower, and fortitude it takes to make the decisions our military has to make on a daily basis to keep our families, our friends, our children safe. I stand humbled by your bravery and hope that you know you have my gratitude, trust, and respect. Thank you. Truly.

Sgt. Peters is one of many soldiers that gave his life so I could enjoy the freedoms I so easily take for granted. I choose to remember daily how fortunate I am to those who have fallen, those who continue to fight, and those that will choose to fight in the future. I am truly humbled by such bravery and honor. We should, as a country, be thankful for such sacrifices. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post.....((HUGS)) Praying for the family of Sgt. Peters and all those who have fallen protecting our freedom.