My father (Marines) and uncle (Air Force) were veterans of WWII. My husband served in the Army in Germany during the Vietnam era. Veteran's Day is special to me because I was one of the lucky ones. These special men came back to me. Indeed, if my Marine father had not returned, I wouldn't be here writing this blog post today.
A couple of years ago, at a client company, we held a Raise the Flags ceremony and raised the flag of the United States, the flag ot the State of Michigan and the the flag of the company. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, who will come and play the bugle and raise the flags for the first time as a community service, were there to lead the celebration. One tradition they support is that the company members who are veterans stand closest to the flag. We had two; with the Iraq war, there might be more today.
It's another generation during which mandatory military service no longer exists. The demographics of the company place most employees under the age of 45, and most are even younger. We need to make a concerted effort to make sure that the Gen Xers and the Millennials, most of whom have never experienced military service, understand and remember the generations that came before them, and the many that laid down their lives so that all of us may live free.
General Douglas MacArthur, arguably one of this century's most important men, gave one of the most moving speeches I have ever read a short time before he died. I share this with you in honor of Veteran's Day and all the men and women who have nobly served their country in some part of the military.
From the VFW website: "Right now, there are thousands of men and women in our military, once again taking up arms against the enemies of freedom. Like generations of patriots who came before them, these few shoulder the burden for the many. They serve because they know it is necessary for the greater good." Hopefully, you join me in supporting our armed services personnel so that the lives of our people currently serving, and all of the brave heroes who came before them, are remembered and celebrated.
More About the Military and Veteran's Day
- Rod Power's U.S. Military site: Honor All Who Served
- Martin Kelly's U.S. History site: History of Veteran's Day
- Books About Military Management
Image Copyright Elvis Santana