As I reflect on the Veterans’ Day I am drawn to the word “Hero.” There are so many people who think of individuals as heroes and I have to question their definition. However, that debate belongs to another day. Today I wish to focus on the true “Heroes” we honor on this day; both those that have become silenced through giving their lives and those that continue to be living whether active or inactive in their current lives.
When I was growing up, heroes came in all sizes shapes and occupations. Superman, Wonder Woman, Roy Rogers, (boy am I dating myself), the Lone Rangers and many, many more. How at times today, do I wish life were that simple? Today, too often it is hard to tell the Heroes from the villains. But there is one thing that I have come to know.
Heroes really are simply men, women, young, old, who have given of themselves, put their life on the line for their values, beliefs, and the lives of others. They don’t wear capes and tights; they have dog tags and combat boots. They have family and friends who proudly support them, wait patiently (sometimes alone) for their return, mourn when they don’t come home, and celebrate when they do.
This was so brought home to me on Sunday as we traveled to Branson, Mo for vacation. As we were leaving the Cracker Barrel where we had stopped for breakfast, a group of young soldiers (about 20 or so) were just arriving. As is my habit I greeted them with a God Bless you, and thanked them for their services. I watched their eyes light up and the smiles on their young faces and was honored to have had the encounter. Later as I reflected on them, each face shown in my memory begged the question of who they had left behind, where would they go, and how many would return and run into the arms of their families?
I have no control over this world, our United States, and the lives of these young men and women. But what I do have is prayer and a Papa God who holds each of us in the palm of His mighty hand. It is when I remember this that I find peace in my soul, quiet my mind, and become grateful for the men and women who so freely give of themselves to serve. They are true HEROES! God Bless them all!
Leanne the Urban Hermit