Excited to abduct my grandmother this morning, in hopes of whisking her off to the National Cemetery in Riverside where my grandfather and aunt lay, I set out with gifts for the wife of the vet in hand.
Unfortunately, she wasn't there when I arrived. There was no flag flying out front as had always been the habit on holidays like this one. I wondered and worried a while, pouring over photographs of my grandparents and giving silent thanks to my grandfather for being such a tireless servant. I called his brother, a fellow veteran to wish him thanks. No answer.
My boyfriend's father is a veteran, as his business partner. I suggested he wish them happy V-day and tell them thank you from me. He forgot. They'll get their homemade pumpkin bread thank you from me a day late because he couldn't be bothered.
My grandmother finally appeared as I was leaving her house. I wished her a happy Veteran's Day, and told her that there were treats for her on the table, that the wives were to be thanked too for their service. She looked startled and exclaimed, "I forgot it was Veteran's Day!"
How can those so close to the ones this holiday was designed to honor forget or forgo? It's indecent to lack appreciation for those brave souls who have protected our way of life for so long. Granted, given the state of affairs for many in this country, I understand a certain measure of disenchantment.
Sure, times are tough; but that is at least partially due to the fact that we've rigorously neglected to honor the memories and failed to inherit the lessons and wisdom of these brave servants. Without their gallantry, we would be without the lifestyle that afforded us the opportunity to co-create the mess we're in now as a nation. Regardless of the current situation (and maybe because of it), we ought to be grateful to these men and women for providing a precedence of self-sacrifice, cohesion, decency and patriotism.
It's a crying shame when the world goes on with nary a wink on one of the most important national holidays of the year!