Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Honoring the Veterans

This story of the World War Two veterans going to Washington, DC stirs some great personal memories. I was the Washington State representative for a national speech contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars back in 1976. The veterans paid for one high school student from each state to fly to Washington, stay in a nice hotel, eat heartily as teenagers do and visit the Memorials on the National Mall, The White House, The Capitol and other tourist and historical sites there. The old soldiers honored us. I was too young and immature to appreciate the irony. I was a high school student who had done nothing significant and they were honoring me for writing a three-minute speech and sending it in. The veterans had served in horribly difficult places like Normandy, Guadalcanal, North Africa and Meat Loaf Hill. And yet, they were honoring us. Now that I'm about the age they were then, I understand a little bit better. They just wanted to know that someone from the next generation would appreciate the freedoms they fought for. It's a sobering thought. Thank you veterans.

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