Thank You Peren

Today is Veterans Day in the US. It is a day set aside to honor all of those who have served in the military. It is set today because the end of World War I came for us on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and it is one of the few holidays in the US that hasn’t reappeared on a Monday. Well, in North Dakota this year we are given Monday off because the real holiday is Sunday, but it hasn’t been “officially” moved to the nearest Monday like many of our holidays.

I would ask that anyone who takes offense to things, please read the whole thing written here before you get upset.

So, in the past when I wrote for a local newspaper, I have gotten myself into some hot water for comments that I have made that regard soldiers, veterans and the flag. One day I was in trouble for pointing out that I support the first amendment and the right to burn the flag. No one read far enough to learn that I don’t burn flags, I just understand the first amendment. Seriously without that right what would be the point of honoring the flag?? Is it really being honored if you are forced to do it? Think about that one.

Next, at my age (55), I was a young impressionable child during the Viet Nam War. I remember watching the Nightly News to learn how many were killed each day, I also remember watching pictures of riots and protests about all sorts of things, there were stories of unrest of some kind almost every night. We were not exposed to patriotism, or at least from my pre-teen perspective, nothing looked patriotic. I did NOT grow up in a world that respected soldiers and veterans. Looking back that was a sad state of our history.

It was also a time of forced draft. Young men were made to participate in the war. I don’t remember anyone in our family rushing to enlist before they were drafted. But then our family was mother dominant, and they were more of the type to drape themselves over the doorway and prevent anyone from leaving home than to push for it. Heck if you want the truth, some of the matriarchs in my family were like the father in Jane Austin’s Emma. He hated it any time someone got married because it disrupted his life. He saw no reason for Emma to marry because it would ruin things for him. My mother was sort of like that when she would hear of another baby coming into the family. She would shake her head and tsk about what are we going to do now. At least that is what she did to me.

So anyway, the one time that I was trying to make a point about how proud we our of my nephew, our Peren, that he joined the regular army, I was in trouble for explaining that I didn’t like Memorial Day services. To me those were all about death and sadness. Veterans Day is also remembering those who died, but to me it is also about honoring those who are still here who served and are serving. It is about honoring those who have put their lives on hold to do this great thing for their country.

I admit that I have not sent any letters or packages or anything to my nephew. I always feel that I am the aunt that shouldn’t get in the way of the others who have been with him more. I have, though remembered him each time that I write in my prayer journal and each Sunday sitting in church and at night when I go to bed. His name comes to me often before my own daughters.

I haven’t kept up with the exact number of days that he has left on this tour or on his time in the army. I know that each day he is closer to coming home. I just want to be able to thank him we he arrives back in the Dakotas. Today I salute him. I salute his group and all of the men in service to this country. But mostly I want this war to be over. I want them all to come home. I want everyone to go home and the world to live in peace.

When will we ever be able to turn the weapons into plow shares and hoes and rakes and happy tools? When came we please, “Give Peace a Chance”?

I salute you Peren!!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gz
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 19:43:21

    My salutes are also with Peren. I pray every day that they can all come home safe and sound and that their service was not in vain. Why can’t our leaders see that this is a needless, senseless war??

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