It’s November: a time to give thanks, and also, a time to honor. It is the time of year that we pause to remember and pay tribute to all of our Veterans: Those men and women, who are courageously serving our country, and, those who through the entire history of our nation, have taken up arms to defend our flag, our lives, and our freedom. To the thousands upon thousands of soldiers who bear within their souls the incredible burning, the unstoppable--and to some unexplainable--loyalty and devotion to country that they willingly leave their homes, families, and friends, to become our faithful Guardians—I thank you.
I am a military mom and aunt. Three young men, whom I love with my entire being are serving, or, have served in the military. Our son has been in the Air Force for fifteen years. One of our nephews served, and fought courageously in the Army, and our other nephew serves proudly and selflessly in the Navy. All have served time in Afghanistan and, or, Iraq. All three are my heroes. And all, thank the good Lord are safe. My husband is a veteran, as was his father, uncles, and an ancestor who served in the Civil war. Many of you have served or have a loved one who has, or, is currently serving our country. Again, to each and every one of these courageous souls, I give my undying thanks.
Our nation was conceived, born, and cut its teeth through war. We fought fearlessly for our independence, we fought to grow, and we fought for freedom; we fought to abolish slavery, and reunite a fracture nation. This perhaps was the most tragic of all the wars—the Civil War. The enemy wasn’t some foreign country, or heartless dictator—no—the battle was fought, brother against brother, father against son, nephew against uncle, cousin against cousin. For each and every one of these brave men and boys, I once again give thanks.
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored, He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on
“I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps. They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps. I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps. His day is marching on”. (Battle Hymn of the Republic -Words: Julia W. Howe, 1861, alt. This hymn was born during the American civil war, when Howe visited a Union Army camp on the Potomac River near Washington, D. C. She heard the soldiers singing the song “John Brown’s Body,” and was taken with the strong marching beat. She wrote the words the next day.)
From the creation of our nation, there have been wars, and with war, there are heroes. These heroes however do not wear red capes and tights; they do not have super powers. They cannot leap over tall buildings in a single bound, or run faster than a flash of lightening. No, these heroes are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.
During the Civil War many heroes were mere boys, whiskers had not yet sprouted upon their innocent faces, and yet, they fought, and many died. “Two brothers alike in so many ways, donned uniforms on the same day—one wore blue, the other wore gray. One mother, with a breaking heart, hugged her boys before they did part. She watched, as tears ran down her face, as her two sons walked away. With a final hug, and a shake of the hands, the brothers turned toward separate lands. Visions of glory and honor rang in their heads; each knew they were right, that’s, at least what they said. But war was not glorious, and honor ran red, as the ground became soaked with the blood that was shed. Musket balls flew: cannons explode: as the brothers fought blindly through smoke that billowed. Two brothers met on the battlefield that day--one wore blue, and, the other wore gray”.
Thousand’s upon thousands of people fought and died in the Civil war arguing polarized causes which had torn our country apart, defending the rights of human beings without rights, and ultimately, after great loss, reuniting our troubled nation. Thousands more have fought in so many wars through out our history, defending our nation and preserving our freedom. Men and women have followed a calling that only they can hear. A calling to leave family and friends; to leave their homes and security; to wear their uniforms with pride, and place themselves in harms way to protect us. As the song says, “All gave some, some gave all”.
“Here's to the heroes, those few who dare. Heading for glory, living a prayer.Here's to the heroes, who change our lives. Thanks to the heroes, Freedom survives.Here's to the heroes who never rest. They are the chose. We are the blessed.
Here's to the heroes, who aim so high. Here's to the heroes, who do or die.Here's to the heroes, who aim so high. Here's to the heroes, who do or die. Here's to the heroes who do or die”. (Writers: Don Black & Barry John- sung by: Mario Frangoulis)
Here’s to the heroes, those who marched in ragged clothes, tattered shoes, or bare feet: the boys, men, sons, and brothers. Here’s to the heroes who traveled the oceans, fighting the enemy though fear gripped their hearts. Here’s to the heroes who felt the call within their souls to place themselves in the path of death, so that we may live. Here’s to the heroes, who after terror struck our shores, stood up proudly, courageously, with gritted teeth and clenched fists, and said, “No More!” Here’s to the heroes, who sleep in trenches and grieve for fallen friends. Here’s to the heroes who sail the oceans, or soar through the skies. Here’s to the heroes who wear the uniform with honor, who protect and serve, but have been spared the horrors of war. Here’s to the hero, whether young or old, male or female, son or daughter. Here’s to the hero who touches his children’s faces only in his dreams, and yearns for his wife’s embrace. Here’s to the hero whose mother’s heart conflicts with the gun she bears.
To all the heroes, past, present, and those yet to come, I say--from the bottom of my heart-- thank-you.
God bless all of our Veterans,
If you would like to hear the song: “Here’s to the Heroes”, go to You-Tube and type in: "Here’s to the heroes- A Military Tribute"