November 12th, 2009

Zoo Family

Thoughts on Veterans' Day

So, many people, including me, are very thankful to the past and current military members who served this country.  Freedom isn't free, and I am very, very grateful that they all chose or got chosen to defend our way of life.  It is honorable and good.

But now that Veterans' Day is over, I want to thank the families, too.  Especially the wives and mothers, since after all, I'm one of them.  For centuries, men have gone to war - for glory, honor, duty, freedom.  And for centuries, their women have been left behind, watching them go, bursting with pride and silently crying out in fear and helplessness as their men march directly into unknown danger.  They continue their lives with a giant, gaping, man-sized hole, and it's hard.  Damn hard.  So many silent tears cried into pillows at night, wiped away in the morning by proud, enduring smiles.  Having babies, raising children, working, keeping traditions, making due. They endure the hole and the fear for the same reasons the men left - honor, love of country, or even simply because there was no choice.  And for so many, many women over the course of American history, through the "ultimate" sacrifice, that man-sized hole will always be vacant.

The soldiers and marines and sailors sacrifice and are very worthy of our thanks.  So, too, are their families.  Thank you for YOUR sacrifice.