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Veterans Day 2012

Do you remember? Share your stories!

My friend Linda once asked me, “How do you write a column every week?” I laughed at that, because I am not really a writer. I am actually a conveyer of information. I share with Patch readers many of the causes, clubs, groups, committees and organizations I’m involved with. Most often, when I write about those things, there is little need for deep thoughts, pendulous prose or witticisms. There is just the need to engage and get others involved

Sometimes, I write humor. Once in a while I may describe some bit of my past to share with you, simply so you know me better and understand the motivations that drive me to be so involved in my community. Occasionally I write something for purely selfish reasons. When I tell you about my heroes, (and it is a favorite, recurring theme) I hope I am accomplishing all of those things at once.

I share feelings as easily as conversation. How I came to be so vocal is a mystery to me. It must be a little egotistical to write. I’m not sure what leads me to think that others may be interested in what I have to say. I just know I have the desire to communicate, to share, to recruit, and to engage people I know and people I don’t in the process of living real life.

I despair television is literally ruining the minds of millions of people who spend time being hammered with goofy dialog and pointless shows designed to “entertain” you. The hidden dangers of this are so obvious to me. I don’t watch television, but I do confess an addiction to my computer and manage to work in small bytes of entertainment  while reading or publicizing some event.

There are real heroes among us today. Josh Himan springs to mind immediately as an example of a hero in our midst. A young man, wounded in war, captures our hearts and causes us to treasure our freedom.
Josh inspires us to be grateful for the countless brave men and women willing to put their life on the line for us.

Veterans Day gives us an opportunity to reflect, to thank and to share our respect for all the members of our Armed Forces. The date, November 11, was designated originally as Armistice Day, the date World War I ended in 1918. The name “Armistice Day” changed in 1954 to “Veterans Day”, but it took many years for the changed name to appear on yearly calendars. (At least, I hope that’s why I still remember the term!)

On this date, we honor all veterans from all wars. In 2001, the United States Senate passed Veterans Awareness Week to give us all an opportunity to learn more about the men and women who shaped the world we live in.

My grandfather never told me his war stories. I know he enlisted in the Army before he was old enough to do so. I know he earned the Purple Heart and he was a POW. My father in law was shot down in World War II. He was also POW and he never talked much about his service in the Army Air Corps.

One of the most compelling reasons I support the Americans in Wartime Museum is the oral history program to capture those stories that will be forever lost. The last combat veteran from WWI died in 2011. The last verified veteran was Florence Green who died in February. My grandpa would have been 115 this year. WWII veterans are dying at a rate of 740 a day. There are about 1.6 million WWII veterans remaining but it’s hard to estimate exactly. Senator Tom Berryhill wrote an excellent, informative article as a Veterans Day message. I hope you have time to read it. In it he proclaimed perhaps the best way to honor today’s veterans is to offer them a job. I appreciate that sentiment as I appreciate the PWC Chamber sponsored :  Prince William Veterans Council. My friend and fellow LPW alumni, Mark Shaaber, conceived this idea and it’s easy to support it. If you’d like to know more, read Prince William Living magazine this month, or visit our Facebook page:

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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