Time to Say Thank You

This Article can also be found with photos:  http://www.myveronanj.com/2015/11/11/thank-you-veterans/

Thanksgiving is two weeks and a day away, but today is a day to say thank you.  It's Veteran's Day; a time to thank all those who serve and have served their country. 

As I drove to work this morning, I saw lots of flags flying proudly.  Even though it is a dank and cold day, as I passed by several town's community centers I could see multitudes of flags on display. It stirred something deep inside me and made me reflect on all the sacrifices our current servicemen and women must make every day as well as the sacrifices those who served in past.  They must have an inner strength that I cannot even imagine.

I know that it must have been dark and even colder when volunteers put them up; showing their gratitude to those who served.  I'm thankful for those people as well, who gave their time to recognize those men and women of the armed forces.  Who recognize, as we all should, that on this day in particular, we should show our thanks.

I wish we could see those flags flying so proudly every day, although perhaps it would not mean as much if they did.  (And let’s face it the wear and tear on the flags would probably take away from the experience as a whole.)

I'm grateful that here in Verona we do have daily reminders of those who have served our country if only we take the time took look.  There is the doughboy statue that sits on the town green, in front of our middle school and across from town hall.  Thousands of cars pass by every day, but how many really see it?  I know as I pull in to drop of my car full of middle school students, I pass it by.  But am I willing to pause and reflect on what that statue represents?

Just recently our town put up signs atop of existing streets denoting those who gave their all.  (http://www.myveronanj.com/2015/08/09/follow-signs-veronas-heroes/).  The signs were placed at intersections closest to where these fallen heroes once lived.  There is one at the intersection across from the end of my block.  I immediately noticed it when it was put up and I see it every day when I leave my house, but I am ashamed to say that if you asked me who it honored, I could not answer you.  Today is the perfect day to take a closer look at that sign, commit his name to memory and be thankful for his service. 

Laning Ave School has for years held a special assembly that honors our veterans.  It is an important tradition that teaches our children the importance of service and what it means to be a veteran.  I wish it was something that the rest of the schools in the town (and not just at the elementary level) would institute.  

All of our lives are incredibly busy.  We all are (or seem to be) rushing from one place to another; from one commitment to another.  None of it would be possible without the service of our veterans. Is it too much to ask that we take a moment today to reflect on what our Veterans have done for us?  How much time would it take out of our crazy schedules to thank a veteran?  Think of how much time they have taken out of their lives to serve; can't we spare a few minutes for a simple thank you?  Isn't that the least we can do on this Veteran's Day?


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