In celebration of Veteran’s Day and in honor and memory of soldiers who have given their service to our country, our community pays tribute in various ways. Last Friday our town had our annual parade honoring these heroes. Here are a few pictures from our local newspaper, the Williamson Herald:
This afternoon, on Veteran’s Day, my husband and I attended a showing of the movie Honor Flight at our downtown theater. It told the story of how a community in Wisconsin was able to send hundreds of veterans to view the World War II memorial in Washington, DC.
The movie was beautiful for many reasons, and highlighted so many things that we as Americans have to be thankful for – the dedication of these service men and women, the way their actions literally saved our world, the lives that those who survived have lived, the families and legacies they have created, the sacrifice of those who gave the ultimate gift, and the dedication of today’s volunteers who are determined to include all veterans in this honor before it is too late.
There is so little we truly understand of that time. We cannot comprehend the trembling state the world lived in, the worldwide fighting, the devastation, the deaths. We have little knowledge of the sense of duty and patriotism these men and women displayed. We cannot fathom their constant feeling of day to day fear, all the while serving and fighting and marching and trying to keep themselves alive. And yet some being willing to die to keep their fellow soldiers alive.
We wonder how it was that those who did survive came home, went on with what was before, started new lives and families, and kept so much of their experience somewhere deep inside: not sharing, but somehow remaining unbroken by it all.
At that time few of those soldiers realized what a profound difference each one of their lives was making on the world at that time, and on the future lives of all Americans. They didn’t have a sense of it then, but we do today, we should, and we must thank them and let them know how special they are.
We were moved by the personal stories of several men portrayed in the film. We were uplifted by the ways that they were honored through this gift of recognition and honor. We were challenged by one of the last lines spoken. The man who organized this effort asked us to ponder, as we learn about and reflect on the sacrifices of these heroes, “How dare we live trivial lives?”
Today, I am thankful. And I am challenged to live with purpose because of this great gift given to me – my freedom – by these heroes who have lived such meaningful lives.
How dare we live trivial lives, indeed.