Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I enjoy watching the parade every year now that I am in Iowa.  We missed that when we lived in Colorado.  As we celebrate our nation's independence I am once again thrilled to see our military honored for their service.  As I watched the jets fly over, I enjoyed the reaction of the crowd as much as the thrill of seeing and hearing the jets.

That is the start of the parade, so we anxiously awaited with excitement.  The parade started with a military band playing.  The crowd stood up as the flags came by and the clapping continued when the crowd saw the band was a military band.  We clapped and clapped and clapped. 

Pretty soon, though, I was the only one clapping.  Not too long after the band went by the crowd sat back down and watched the cars go by representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the other military service organizations.  A few of the older veterans were in wagon pulled by a car or tractor.  About half the crowd clapped when the World War II veterans passed by, then the crowd quieted again.  I was the only one who continued clapping until the last veteran was out of sight.

Whether the veterans are World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm or those who fought in a war that is still going on, they all deserve our respect and appreciation.  A good lesson that we must teach our children, just because the veteran is old, sometimes wearing only a hat with a branch of service on it, they deserve our respect and appreciation for the service they gave and the life they lived to maintain our safety in the United States of America.  If you haven't been to the parade yet, or today's parade is just a memory, please join me at the next parade in clapping for the veterans whether young or old.

I don't tire of thanking men and women for their service when I see them in stores or on the street.  My grandchildren always ask me why, as I patiently explain how much I appreciate what they have to do to keep all of us safe.  I remind them that their grandpa never passed by a veteran without walking over to shake his or her hand and thanking them for their service.

Now go out and enjoy those fireworks!  Don't forget to grab the sparklers to entertain the children waiting for the show to begin.  And don't forget to thank our service men and women and veterans.

How did you celebrate this 4th of July and what are your thoughts regarding appreciation for our veterans?

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