Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember

E & I spent the weekend with my best friend, her 3 kids, and her Navy husband. It was nice to get away, and especially nice that he's stationed in VA Beach. We took full advantage of going to the beach on base. It was more than just a great day to dip my toes in the ocean and relax to the sound of the crashing waves; it was a a reminder of the holiday weekend we were celebrating. We were surrounded by service men and women, but that was only the beginning. 

You see, before we ever made our way to the beach, we had to clear security where Officer Daniel was saluted as he drove us on base. He pointed to the left and shared that we were passing a small military facility where SEAL Team Six operates. While this group is usually "top secret" they made worldwide headlines when they took out Osama bin Laden. Wow. All I could do was stare. I was so humbled and so grateful.

Then today I was honored to sing the National Anthem for the downtown Lynchburg Memorial Day service. Dozens of Veterans gathered to honor their country, honor each other's service, and remember those fallen who fought for our freedom.

With the presentation of colors, they stand and salute. I am in awe watching the emotion evoked in a veteran when he or she sees the stars and stripes waving in the wind. One soldier extended his hand to me and thanked me for singing the anthem "the right way." I thought about that for a moment and was thankful I chose not to add extra notes or use this song to showcase my own talent, rather it served as a way to honor these solders and veterans and the flag that stands for the rights we enjoy in this country.
My freedom of speech to even blog about what I want to blog about exists because of the dedication of these men and women. My grandpa and grandma both served in World War II. At my grandfather's funeral last year, we were all laughingly shocked to learn that grandpa's service in WWII found him a place overseas to teach the soldiers how to dance! That's right! He was an avid and accomplished dancer and he was assigned the duty of helping less fortunate soldiers learn to dance so on their leaves they could enjoy themselves. Remember, this was the '40's when swinging and jiving was a way of life. Grandpa used to always watch the History channel and tell us stories of how his brother was one of the D-Day casualties. I'm mindful how even in our family these stories hit close to home.

As I dug my toes into the hot sand, I could only imagine how hot it must have been in the desert sands of the middle east. As I listened to the waves crashing on the shore, I could only envision the terror that accompanied the shores of Normandy. As I relaxed under the sun, I was mindful of the nearby facility where Unit Six may have been in training. Today I want to use this blog as a salute to you, the brave and dedicated men and women who have given your life selflessly for your country, for me, the freedoms we enjoy. I honor your committment. I applaud your sacrifices. I admire your valor. Thank you. Today we honor and remember.

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