Thank You for your Service...
Today is Veteran’s Day - a holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and originally celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II and the war in Korea, Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The flag pictured above was flown on Christmas Day 2003; it flew during a combat mission in Afghanistan. My brother was one of the pilots. He mailed the flag and certificate to my father along with a brief letter. He acknowledges to Pop that he’s not home with his family for Christmas, that Peter is ill and that we are in his prayers. Battles were being fought everywhere that year.
All the way around the world our brave servicemen and women were facing the battles of military conflict. In Ohio my sister-in-law was facing Christmas with three young girls and no husband. In Delaware Dennis and I were sleeping on a small bed in Peter’s room, he was diagnosed the day before, news we had not yet shared with our families. In Pennsylvania my parents were celebrating with just three of their five children. I’m sure their hearts were heavy with concern.
My father died from cancer in May 2009, prior to his death he went into his room and brought out the flag. He handed me the letter and said, “This belongs to Peter, he fought his own battle that day.” We both cried. I reflect, flag in hand, each Veteran’s Day and share my thoughts and feeling about the many battles that took place during those days with Peter. I can’t help but feel heartache and pride for all the families that celebrated without loved ones because they were protecting the liberty of our country or some other, I am deeply moved that a man would lay down his life for another. I have unwavering pride in the American soldier. Thank you for your service, Colonel Freed, and for the many years that your wife and daughters bravely served. Happy Veteran’s Day!
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