Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

I've been so fortunate in my life. I've reaped the benefits of freedom without suffering through the loss of a loved one in the military.

It's become "hip" to be patriotic lately. Since the tragic 9/11 incidents we've seen more displays of patriotism everywhere...flags flying, bumper stickers touting our great country, etc. Being involved in this war has also brought out the red, white, and blue.

No matter what has caused us to be more patriotic, we can never appreciate enough what those who have VOLUNTEERED in the armed forces have gone through. Our military is voluntary, so these young men and woman have not been forced into this.

Last night during the Coca Cola 600 (yes, another NASCAR race) a commercial was shown several times. I've seen it before; it's not new. Yet it still brings out the same sentiments as if I were seeing it for the first time. Not a word was spoken during this commercial and yet each and every time I saw it, there would be tears streaming down my face.

People are in an airport, going about their business, texting on cell phones, reading the paper, talking to someone, etc. Suddenly someone is clapping slowly and others start in. People stand and we see a group of American soldiers come walking through the airport, with their gear on their backs. People applaud them and a woman stepped in and shook hands with one. Some of the soldiers looked as if they were almost embarrassed by the attention. As the group passes by, one of the last soldiers turns around and looks, as if he wanted to take it all in one more time. Then a black screen came up with two simple words: Thank you.

After several seconds, the logo of the company that sponsored the commercial appears, but that's the only reference to the company throughout the ad. And by the way, it was Bud (Budweiser Beer, for those of you who don't know your alcoholic beverages).

Just thinking about the commercial makes me tear up.

We plan on stopping by the cemetery later on today to pay our respects to those who have gone before us, whether it be in the line of duty or in the line of life.


Paulie said...

We had a wonderful Memorial ceremony here today -- the Army is moving to Tacoma from here so it will be the last one like this. We have a monument of anyone, including some Nez Perce Indians who fought for our country and died. It was very moving. They also had us stand if we had family members in the service while the band played the respective hymns. I was proud to stand for my two Navy boys which I wrote about on my blog on Sunday.

Glad to see other posts about them. I love that commercial!