|During late Spring of 1974, I took my three year old son to tour Washington, D.C. One of the places we visited was the tomb of the unknown soldier. |
As we watched the changing of the guard, everyone became very quiet. Suddenly it was... too quiet. I looked down and realized that my son was no longer at my side. I looked around to see him... marching down one of the sidewalks leading up to the tomb. He looked very serious... much too serious for his age. Everyone was watching him... and some of the folks had tears in their eyes.
One man came out of the crowd and touched my shoulder. He identified himself as a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He said, "I volunteered for the Corps and was sent to Vietnam. My son is your son's age. I was in Vietnam when he was born... I fought the good fight... hoping that my son and all of America's sons and daughters would never have to go to war ever again. I am here today... to be with the souls of soldiers who will never be identified... to pray for families who will never know what happened to their soldier sons and daughters. War is hell. The only winners in any war are those who profit from it financially. Everybody else loses. Some lose their very life. God Bless You, Mother... May you and your son know a life of peace because of those of us willing to go to war."
My son is now thirty-something... married to a wonderful woman he loves very much. They have three children. He does not remember that day except as I remind him of it occasionally.
I have never forgotten that day or the USMC Veteran's words. They are burned into my mind, heart and soul forever. I know that every moment of precious peace and all the glorious freedoms we enjoy as Americans are granted us at the very dear price of the lives of those who volunteer for military service.
From the President of the United States of America to the most common man alive... We all owe every moment we live in peace and enjoy freedom to our Veterans and those in active military service today.
Thank you, Veterans and welcome home... Thank you, those of you serving in active military service today... Godspeed and a safe return to your home and loved ones.