Saluting our veterans
November 16, 2011
During this time of veterans remembrance, I felt moved to write this letter to thank and remember all of our veterans that have served their countries in many ways.
On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, I attended our veterans memorial tribute. It was a tremendous commemoration, with beautiful words, songs, moving memories and an emotional moment of reflection during our busy and hectic lives, a time when we stopped to think about how lucky we are that these brave men and women have sacrificed so much for us to live our lives the way we do today. From Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and special forces such as the 10th Mountain Division – we owe so much to you and you will not be forgotten.
For me, it was particularly moving – as it was my first Veterans Day as a new American citizen. I came to the U.S. from Great Britain, where we so fervently celebrate Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. My grandfather was a war hero, having served for the Queens Regiment in both the first and second world war. I am immensely proud of his history. I have copies of his memoirs and letters from the trenches in World War I; needless to say they are so moving.
I think it is hard for us to imagine – with our modern-day comforts – the suffering that these soldiers endured in the fight for freedom. It is hard for us to envisage the suffering of any soldier in any war. And it dawns on me every Veterans Day how lucky I am to be able to have so many choices in this world. I often realize that without the support of our greatest ally America, the wars’ outcomes could have been so very different.
I am lucky enough to know some amazing people who are vets here in Aspen and in fact I met a veteran from the U.S. Army today and shared the story of my grandfather with him. He was a charming man, and we were both moved by the recollection of my grandfather’s history, and I could see in his eyes that he was glad to hear the story and how I respected and recognized the importance of the Allied Forces.
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Although he was too young to have served in the Great War, he was a hero of another war. And he made me feel a sense of the connection that so many must have felt when the U.S. came on board to join the great body of men and women who became the Allied Forces that fought so hard to preserve the freedom we relish today.
To conclude, I again thank all the men and women, veterans of our wars, who have fought so valiantly in the name of freedom. I pray that God will protect and watch over you all.