This holiday crept up on me unawares. The only reason I knew it was happening was because the bank was closed when I got there. And there was an event in "Veteran’s Park" in our little town. I know if I listened to the radio or got out a bit more there’d be no way I’d miss the holiday – it’s not like it goes unpublished. We were doing a cooking class in the community room (you know – that wellness job of mine). And Jake, the very gregarious director of tourism (who says his job is to get "heads in the bed" for our town), asked if we’d come across the street after our class for a short ceremony. They were going to add the name of a young soldier to the monument in honor of our town’s boys whose lives have been given for our country. I’d never attended such a ceremony, and given the size of our town (population less than 3,000) I thought it would be a good thing to experience.
It was quite a ceremony, with a local TV station reporting and the highschool ROTC cadets strutting their stuff as Color Guard.
The Master of Ceremonies is a local church pastor who did a very nice job.
There was a collection of veterans who gave a gun salute to the fallen soldier. And a lone soldier in the distance who did taps. The drizzle and cold weather were particularly gray. It was all fittingly somber.
I felt so sorry for the family of the soldier. They have made the ultimate sacrifice – the death of their young son. I couldn’t hold back tears as they unveiled the soldier’s name on the monument – to forever be honored for his service and his sacrifice. There are so many more who serve and sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy. It was a great reminder of something that I so often take for granted.