Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Remembering My Freedom

I’m leaving for Cincinnati tonight. Road Trip! I’m leaving a few pictures on the blog that say how I feel about the service of our soldiers, (mine included) to this nation. Take time to call a friend, neighbor or veteran to thank them for their service whether now or in the past.

I travelled one summer with my best friend to Europe shortly after graduating high school. It was during the Vietnam War. We were peace-niks, hippies at their best. No real knowledge about the war, just believing everything we saw on television. We wanted to be hip and cool and part of it all! We had a ball seeing new places, doing things, and meeting people to discuss the travesty of “our” war.

One conversation I will never forget was at the Haufbrau House in Munich, Germany. My best friend Ann and I were sitting at a long wooden table across from three old German men. The place was filled with oompah music, clinking beer mugs and the smell of sauerkraut and sausage.

When the old men heard we were from America, they started to speak in broken English. One man in particular took his hat off and placed it over his heart and said, “I can never repay the Americans who saved my families life.” We had to lean in to understand the old man’s words, but the tears on his face spoke volumes about his continuing passion for the American soldiers who had assisted the old man and his family during World War II. The other men nodded their heads and touched our hands in gratitude. At the end of the conversation we all hugged goodbye, tears streaming down every face. My attitude changed that day, about America, about our soldiers, about war.

I still believe that war is something none of us want to be part of. But so long as we are on this earth, there will be war. Our soldiers deserved to be honored for doing the right thing by the people they are helping. The gratitude and respect those old men had for our nations’ soldiers was ingrained in me that day. I returned home a few months later, landing in New York. When I got off the plane I kissed the ground. I realized just how proud I was to be an American.

I ended up marrying a good-looking soldier I met in Germany, at the same place I listened to the stories of those old men. He’s gone on to serve this nation as a Police Officer for over 30 years now. He’s also the greatest dad to our only son, Tate, a US Coast Guard soldier. So on this special weekend, honor those you’ve lost and those who serve remembering that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

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