Veterans Day, 2011
The time was 11 a.m., very fitting considering the day, month and year. Several hundred people gathered at the corner of our city cemetery at 11 a.m. this morning to dedicate a memorial, a memorial to all of those who served and are buried on the gentle slope of the hill.
There were flag bearers, speeches, and even a trumpeter. The cold breeze moved the fabric emblems of our country as they held suspended above our heads and we heard from a former congressman, the state's current Lt. Governor, and our mayor. A few of the city's finest were recognized for their part in the construction of the memorial. They did good work.
After the dedicatory prayer was given and handshakes were exchanged, I walked around the grounds where the bodies of my parents...wait.
I saw a couple of headstones adorned by an American flag. A few others wandered about with perhaps the same idea.
No flag appeared above my father's marker. My mom told the city time and time again that her husband was a veteran and should be acknowledged as such. There was no flag and his name did not appear on the new memorial. That's something I need to fix. I had a suspicion that his name would be missing and at first it bothered me a bit. I did a little research and found some information on my dad and his service record. That can be found: HERE.
But as I walked away from my parent's headstone and drove away from the cemetery, the fact that my dad's name wasn't on the newly dedicated memorial didn't mean that much. I know it will be there and that this may be important to generations yet to come. I had a change of heart because though it's important he be recognized as a veteran, it's more important (for me...) that I remember his as my dad.
Here's to the veterans out there, the ones who, for a time in their life, offered the greatest gift a human can give for someone else.