Veterans Day 2012

on November 11 | in From Ben, Holidays, Lifestyle, Magazine | by | with 13 Comments

My Grandfather

VETERANS DAY, We Thank You!

We may not live in the perfect nation but it is the closest to perfect you will find. To be an American means thousands of men and women made, and continue to make, sacrifices so we can enjoy the freedom we take for granted. If you enjoy the freedom to pursue your career choice, live where and how you choose, worship without fear of retribution, you shouldn’t hesitate to tip your hat, say a hearty “thank you” and offer a prayer of thanks for every veteran.

 

In our Nov/Dec issue, this year, we salute Veterans Day. I wanted to bring a bit of that to the blog. My favorite piece in the salute, is a letter my mom wrote to my grandfather, a World War II and Korea veteran. Below is her letter followed by a quick, but meaningful craft that you can do to salute the veterans in your life.

A Letter to My Dad, Buster Wimpee

Daddy,

Thank you so much for joining the Army in 1944 to fight for our country. Because of you and all the other veterans who have served in the military our freedoms have been preserved. Thank you for fighting at Normandy, France, and Belgium.

I’m glad that you and Dennis Graves, another boy from Scottsville, just happened to see each other in Germany. Out of the hundreds of soldiers who were there to see a USO show, you were able to spend some time with a familiar face while being so far from home.

Thank you for helping to liberate a German train of over 2,500 holocaust survivors who were being moved from the Bergen-Belson Concentration camp to another camp. When the Germans saw your 30th Division 119th Regiment approaching, they deserted and tried to run away.  Your regiment released the survivors from the train.

You said, “The survivors were pitiful looking. They were skin and bones.” You saw one eating on a leg bone. I’m sorry that even now, 67 years later, you cry about what you witnessed there.

Your regiment was in Germany when the war ended. You were glad that you were sent back to the states and not to Japan like other soldiers. I’m glad you made it home safely.

I want to thank you and all veterans, including my brothers Adair and David, for sacrificing your time and laying your lives on the line for us, the America people.

Daddy, I proud of you and I love you.

Love,
Darline

My mom with my grandmother and one of my uncles, along with photos of my grandfather.

Veterans Day Memory Stones

Memory Stones

These little stones have been a tradition for many years. Before leaving home, family members would often give personalized stones to military members. The stones were kept in their pockets, during battle, as a reminder of home. This Veterans Day, why not make them for the veterans in your life as a simple thank you for their service and dedication to our nation.

To make these stones, you can buy a bag of stones in the landscaping or home decor section of a store, or for a more personalized feel go for a walk and collect stones along the way. After the stones have been collected simply use a paint pen or metallic marker to personalize the stones. Simple phrases or single words work best. We decided to do a patriotic word on one side and the name of the giver on the other. To preserve the stones, simply spray with a clear varnish.

Today we salute every veteran and every man and woman serving today. As a nation, we set aside one day of special recognition for our veterans, but EVERY day should be.

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13 Responses to Veterans Day 2012

  1. Lynn says:

    This is a beautiful post. It’s funny how the very thing that has been fought for and died for in this country and is the very thing that gives all of us the right to even have an opinion has become the very thing that endangerous that freedom. I thank you for recognizing Veterans. My Dad was in Vietnam with the 82nd Airborne and when Desert Storm came along he was in that with the Air Force Reserve. My brother also in the Army National Guard was station for sometime in Iraq after 9/11. My Son who now has not graduated from High School made the decision to join the National Guard and has already completed basic training. He is not a veteran and I do pray he never has too. A lot of people believe that to be in the military is to be someone who thrives own war and force but in truth it is the very opposite. The American way of life is freedom but it was definately not free.

  2. Jacquie says:

    Such a moving letter. We tend to overlook the effect the attrocities of war had on the generations of men who were’nt encouraged to share their feelings. A happy and peaceful Veterans’ Day to all military members and their familes who serve along with them.

  3. I love the stone idea! It’s so thoughtful and a small keepsake as well. A very unique way to say you care. Love it! The letter was very moving as well. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Beautiful tribute and idea! Thank you for publishing it and please thank your mom for allowing you to share her touching letter!
    Heather

  5. eclectic says:

    Love the idea of these memory stones – and your mother’s tribute is beautiful. I want to cry thinking about what your grandfather went through.
    Kelly

  6. This was so beautiful Ben and I’m so glad you shared this with us! We’re so grateful to all those who, like your grandfather, sacrificed for and served our country so that we can have the freedoms we too often take for granted. Thanks for the reminder! :-)
    Vanessa

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