Today was Veteran’s Day, an often overlooked day on the calendar. It was also travel day for me as I returned home. I admit Veteran’s Day usually comes and goes without too much attention on my part. But flying today gave me an opportunity to take time on this day to be thankful for those who have given so much for the freedom I enjoy each day.
I flew on Southwest Airlines and as I checked in the attendant at the counter asked me if I would like to fill out a card to give to a Vet. I thought that was a nice thing for them to do. So I filled out the card.
Then, when we were about halfway through our flight, the head flight attendant came on the loudspeaker. She apologized for interrupting any naps but she had a couple of questions to ask. Was there any World War II Vets on board? No, she did not think she had seen anyone that old come on board. She shared how her father was a WWII and how grateful she was that he was still living. How about a Korean War Vet? None of those either. That would be someone my Dad’s age. He had just gone into the army about the time that conflict was settled. She asked if if there were any Viet Nam Vets, and as I saw the first hand being raised, the clapping of thanks also began. I began to feel my own heart soften as I clapped too. The next war, Desert Storm. There was a Vet on board from that war too. I thought of my friends Joe and Kathy Huryk and his many health complications as a result of that war. (Thank you Joe). It was a little surprising that there was no one on board from either the Iraq or Afghanistan deployments. (Are we calling those wars??)
The flight attendant asked them to turn on their call lights and leave them on for the remainder of the flight. Then she proceeded to lead us in singing “My country ‘tis of Thee”. She began by saying she had learned this in school and wanted to sing it with Veteran’s Day and the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday in mind. Now I don’t know if people were just shy or what but there were not many voices joining in the song. I too learned it in school and as I looked about the plane there were a lot of younger faces. It made me wonder if maybe they really did not know the song at all. I also thought it was interesting to tie the two November holidays together. The freedom to give thanks and honoring those who preserve that freedom. I am so grateful and thankful for our country and for all those in the armed forces who have served. Thank You!