Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

It sounds incongruous to say “Happy Veterans Day.” It seems to me rather a day to say “Thank you.” It is a fine rehearsal for Thanksgiving. We give thanks for the lives we enjoy as a result of the sacrifice of the one percent who served. 11-11-11.
There is much speculation as to the significance of this auspicious date. To me, it seems a fitting date to honor our veterans.
There is something unfinished about the number 11.
First of all, it is an odd number. Odd, because it is not evenly divisible by two; it is two ones side-by-side but eternally looking for that final mate to bring it back into evenness.
It lies just beyond the perfection of the number 10, reaching ahead to the future yet falling short of an even 12. The number 11 is somehow deficient, incomplete.
The number 11 reminds me of veterans. We’re odd, first because we entered the service alone, leaving mates, family, friends, lives behind. And then again, many of us are bona fide characters—oddballs! Secondly, there is something unfinished about our lives. Our service was a phase—a very significant phase—but just a part of a life. There is a saying that “a veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount of up to and including my life. That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it." Those who paid that all-inclusive price—known or unknown—had their futures cut short. There is the sense of a life unfinished, although they gave their lives that others might live, so in that sense, their legacy is complete and incomparable.

HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD For those of us who served and came home, whether for one tour or a career, we had more to do. We came out of that crucible of service with unfinished lives and were granted the grace to run the course, however long that might be. All the while, we remember with eternal gratitude, pride, and admiration those brave souls who laid down their lives that we might live, and live in liberty and peace.

To all those who came home—and most especially to those who did not—we say, “Thank you.”


Kath said...

A great post. It completes the thought that I was trying to convey in the article I posted on my facebook about a WWII veteran.

Mari said...

I'm here from Bonnie's blog. Just wanted to tell you I really appreciated this post!