November Eleventh holds a strange place in my life.
Two years ago today, my wife and I were married. Twenty-four months and she still hasn’t offed me. Hot dog!
There is also the meaning of Veteran’s Day. Since living in England, the value of it is so very different. I appreciate it more, what a nonsensical and nightmarish time that all must have been for those poor, brave souls lost. It astounds me that there are veterans of that war still alive today. Ninety years since the treaty was signed, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, of 1918, and there is still a small contingent of survivors. Simply amazing and wonderful, and they deserve every possible drop of our respect and gratitude.
And lastly, there is the strange sensation that this day is also marked for my friends. Guys I went to high school with, who I learned to play Dungeons & Dragons with. They’re veterans of a war now.
Growing up, there was always a sense that veterans were old chaps who remember battling in the air, manning mass numbers of ships across the sea, and fighting tooth and nail through Europe and Asia to the rescue of good.
And there were the hidden veterans of Vietnam. It had already been in the history books, tucked in the chapters that still remained after the school year was done. There was a vague sense of guilt surrounding the whole topic, and it was apparently something my parents’ generation knew and felt deeply, but it was lost on their children.
Now, however, the honor is on these young men who are never far removed from my memories of growing up. I don’t know whether to thank them or apologize to them. I doubt that feeling will ever leave me. At the very least we have learned from our collective past and know to give these brave, still living souls our respect and love.
So here are thanks to the ones I know served. Thank you Garren, John, Jon, and David.