An elderly widow invited my family to the annual Veterans Day ceremony in our small community. We arrived on time – “on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour,” to find the poor woman sitting all alone. Tears were streaming down her face as we sat next to her. “It’s like everyone has just forgotten us,” she said.
We sat for an hour, and she showed us the bricks in the ground that were engraved with the names of her late husband and three children – all veterans.
But the saddest part of the morning was watching as several other old veterans drove up for the annual gathering. They hobbled in on canes, and their faces fell as they realized that their community had forgotten them completely.
We sat and listened to their stories of war, sacrifice, and living in the trenches. We prayed with them and for them, and thanked them for their service. “We did it for them,” one old man said tearfully as he pointed at my two children. “And they’re beautiful!”
Never again in my life will I witness such a lonely scene, but this might describe what veterans across the nation are feeling today – lost, unappreciated, and forgotten.
Our family celebrated Veterans Day today, and I have a feeling we always will. We have to work at remembering what others have sacrificed, or it feels as if it didn’t matter. But it does.
Dear Veterans – thank you. Your sacrifices and your work mattered, and will always be appreciated by those who will make the most of it. Never forget that!