Friday, November 13, 2009

Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, (formerly Armistice Day), November 11th , the USA paused to honor the veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The program at Luther Acres included taking a picture of all veterans present, approximately 100 men and women, followed by a program of patriotic and nostalgic music by local musician Mick Cochran. Each veteran received a Nepalese coin made from a spent brass bullet casing used during WWII, and three received special citations for serving 20, 24 and 38 years respectively.
Upon seeing how many veterans were present, I estimated that about one of every five residents of the retirement community had been in the service.
In this particular group, many served during WWII and the Korean War. But even those who served in peacetime have faced dangers, foreign dangers that we sometimes tend to forget. From the beginning of the 20th century to the present time (2009) there have been seven hostilities classified as conflicts, as well as six other overseas “incidents.” This does not include the permanent presence of service personnel in Europe, Japan, etc.
Some of these activities come under the heading of “just” wars – the justness, or even the necessity of others is open to question. But there is no question that those who served deserve thanks every day of the year for their willingness to sacrifice time, effort and even their very lives in answer to their country’s call.
Mick Cochran’s program included music from as long ago as the War of 1812,  the Civil War and WWI, but most of his selections were from the WWII era. He also included other patriotic numbers including the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America and the one I would have chosen for the National Anthem if I had been in Congress in 1931 – America, The Beautiful. Many of the songs were of the sing-along variety, and the audience enthusiastically joined in.
It was a fine program of appreciation for those who have done so much to make such programs possible.

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