Friday, November 9, 2018

Honoring Our Veterans



Have you had the privilege of viewing the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia right across the Potomac River from Washington, DC?

These men and women who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers are in a class by themselves. They quiet a chatty group of onlookers. They guard regardless of the weather whether bitter cold, hurricane winds or scorching, humid heat. Impeccably dressed in uniform, and polished to a gleaming shine, they represent the best of what makes the United States great. They live by a set of requirements that are mind-blowing. Here is a great read and make sure to scroll to the honor guard requirements. 

I have had the privilege several times of watching and participating at the Tomb. I was involved in wreath-laying ceremonies. These guards were most professional and met with our group before the presentation and I found them graceful at putting all of us at ease before it was our turn to present. I am so grateful for the military who served and the families who supported their service. 

Let's remember the spouses of those who have served. I know first hand how difficult keeping the home fires burning as a spouse deploys. All responsibility falls on the homefront spouse and it can be very difficult. Deployments are tough and homecomings, although very special, are hard on marriages as well. When Jack was deployed to a combat zone, he did something really special upon his return. He had received a combat service medal to wear on his uniform. For Christmas, he worked with a jeweler designing a matching combat service ribbon for me to wear on my coat. Yes, I  cried and put it on my jacket. We, spouses, serve as well. I enclose a photo of that beautiful pin.



Please remember to thank the people you know who have served. First-hand knowledge here tells me that these veterans really value your appreciation.

Meredith

24 comments:

  1. Meredith,

    As always you point to the best in everything! I love that Jack recognized the sacrefice you made as well!

    What made today special for me (and yes,I know it is 2 days early), was seeing all the young school aged kids in their uniforms (be it army, navy, or air cadets) marking the ceremonies at school. There were so many this year, and while I hope they never serve in combat when they have grown up, my heart swelled with the knowledge that they were willing to step up.

    Boo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boosghost,
      You are so correct in mentioning the school gatherings where children learn about veterans.
      Thanks,
      M

      Delete
  2. This is so lovely and eloquent, and the ‘read’ you reference is extremely surprising as well as being very interesting. Thank you to you and Jack for your service, and thank you for always posting a beautiful piece on this important day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel,
      You are most welcome. Thank you for your comment.
      M

      Delete
  3. Meredith, you always write a stirring post for Veteran's Day. I think that what makes it so special is the personal story that you weave into it every year.

    I first saw the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when I was nine years old. My father explained what I was going to see and how he expected me to behave. There was no need to remind me during the respectful silence at the ceremony. When I saw a tear run down my father's cheek, I understood the importance of what was happening and where I was. He took my hand and gave it a squeeze, and we both bowed our heads.

    I just found your post as I got set to publish mine. That made me smile. Thanks to both you and Jack for your service and thanks to all our veterans and their families.

    Ella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ella,
      Witnessing the ceremony is so very moving. Glad you have had that opportunity.
      M

      Delete
  4. Meredith and Jack,
    No, I have not had the privilege of seeing the ceremony, so thank you for "taking me there" in this beautifully written piece. Thank you for the link as well as this lead me to more U.S. History that has recently begun to fascinate me. This gives me the chance to begin to embrace my own appreciation for it on a much deeper level.

    I love your pin/ribbon that matches Jack's medal. You both earned those, indeed. By now, I shouldn't be surprised at the things you have been part of in our nation's history, but once again, I did love hearing about you participating in one of the wreath ceremonies. Most of us have only seen various presidents performing that somber and solemn tribute on television.

    Thank you for making the meaning of Veterans' Day come alive for me through getting to know you and Jack and through your unselfish dedicated service you both have given with your sacrifices at home and abroad.

    Thank you both for protecting our nation and our people. This is a magnificent piece of writing here, Meredith. Love, Windy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Windy,
      I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you for your kind words.
      M

      Delete
  5. Hi Meredith,

    What a lovely post in honour of those who have served in our allied forces and their families. Standing with you in grattitude.

    Hugs
    Roz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz,
      Thank you for always being faithful right here in your commenting.
      M

      Delete
  6. Hi Meredith, :) Always know that you will put up a special post on this occasion! Lovely!

    Am more than grateful to the men and women who have served, and those that now serve our country. Thank you to all of our veterans!

    Great thanks to all of the parents, spouses and children who must readjust their lives, so that their loved ones can serve. I can only imagine the worries that they must endure! Thank you, Jack and Meredith too! Many hugs,

    ❤️Katie xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie,
      Looking back, I am always proud of our service........ overseas and at home. Both were difficult and now thankfully over. It is an important day for the young to learn about.
      M

      Delete
  7. I thank them all, past, present and future for their service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for sharing this Mere! What a wonderful gift Jack gave you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minelle,
      I love my pin and wear it on the pocket of my jacket. To this day, I still receive compliments.
      M

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing a beautifully written tribute, Meredith ... a tribute to the tradition of honouring the 'Unknown Soldier' (we have such a tradition here as well in our capital city of Ottawa and no we have not had the honour of seeing it in person), and a fitting tribute to the sacrifices of the spouses and families of those who serve and of course, to those who have served, including your Jack.
    Hugs! ... nj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NJ,
      Thank you for your kind words. I love that Canada cherishes a ceremony of its own.
      M

      Delete
  10. Thank you to both you and Jack. Cannot imagine how difficult it was (and is, for those currently serving our country). All my respect to all who do. My dad was a WWII Veteran as a very young man and he instilled in me, a respect for our country that I carry with me today, even during these rocky times.

    Hoping all is well and peaceful in your valley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deena,
      I love that you father was a WW2 veteran. So was mine!
      Thank you for your comment.
      M

      Delete
  11. A big "thank you!" to you and Jack for all the sacrifices you both made in service to our country.

    Storm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Storm,
      What a kind man you are to comment right here on the blog. There were sacrifices and now we enjoy a few big benefits. Thank you,
      M

      Delete
  12. The tomb of an unknown British soldier from the First World War is situated in Westminster Abbey. There is a tradition, started by our present Queen’s mother, that royal brides have their wedding bouquets placed on the tomb after the nuptials. Meghan Markle’s was laid there.
    We don’t have the equivalent of your Veterans’ Day but we observe Rembrance Day.
    Lovely post, Mere.
    Rosie xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosie,
      Learning about the bouquet tradition is lovely. Thank you for sharing. I love it.
      M

      Delete