The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 marked the end of World War I and has since been recognized as Veterans Day.
The hubby always acknowledges his dad on this day and tells stories of his involvement in World War II. He was in the Army Engineers and was among the first troops into North Africa. During his years of service he survived Anzio, Rapido River and Monte Casino. He experienced the emotion of helping liberate the Dachau concentration camp. For his many accomplishments he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the highest medal given by the French. In his son’s eyes, his dad is a hero for all that he was and because of the stories, he is the same to granddaughters who never knew him.
On Dataw, the tribute to veterans has been not just a day but a week, likely because the area has such a strong military presence. Flags line the streets and every day an event honors those who have served and now call the island home.
In an especially touching ceremony, veterans marched. Though not in uniform they stood straight and appeared to honor formation.
An honor guard stood proud and returned the salutes from those passing by.
Three flags were raised with the last being the Stars and Stripes.
As I saw it fluttering in the breeze, listened to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and looked at the faces of those who in another time served this country, I felt an intense appreciation for all who have kept and continue to keep us safe and free. Though our country is experiencing some troubling times at the moment, there remain many reasons to be proud.