Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

A couple of observations…

At our local church, the pastor makes a point of recognizing veterans of all branches of the service during the Sunday service on Memorial Day weekend (since Veteran's Day isn't always on a Sunday).  God bless him, he also remembers to honor our spouses, who are as important to our military service as we are!

Yesterday after church, we were at the gas station, waiting in line to fill up.  At the pump, an elderly gentleman with a walker was waiting for the attendant to bring his change out.  The young lady behind him went in to “expedite” that, while I helped him into his car.  We talked briefly, and I asked him if he was a veteran.  Yes, he was, retired from the Air Force in 1962.  He was a pilot on four-engine aircraft – a fact I got from him after a couple of more questions.  (He was ever so slightly reluctant to go into it.)  I thought he might have meant B-47s or whatnot, but it turns out his “four-engine aircraft” were B-17 and B-24 bombers over Europe during World War II!

My wife honked at me once to remind me that there was a line, so I respectfully got him into his truck and saluted as he settled in.  After he left, I told her that this man flew through hell and back, many times, and lived to tell the tale.  He deserved a little respect from the generations that followed him into the service.  She realized at that moment exactly how much that meant to someone like me, and wisely dropped the subject. :)  I think my daughter and granddaughter, both of whom were also in the car, might not understand quite how important that was to me to have the privilege of helping someone out who gave so much, but maybe someday they’ll understand…

An online cartoonist, going by the name Farva, has a daily strip called Air Force Blues.  Today’s strip says pretty much all there is to say about Memorial Day.  You can see it here – and I recommend strongly that you do.


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