Considering that we have a large number of Quaker ancestors who, because of their religious conviction, did not practice war (although they were often on the front lines with the Red Cross or participated in other ways), we have a large number of veterans who served well and proudly and made sacrifices so that we could live under this government in this land happily and well. America has been good to all of our families who immigrated here between 1600 and 1850. And, through their sacrifices they have made this our land. I believe we have been represented in every war from the French and Indian to Vietnam. So far our younger generations emulate their Quaker forebears in not joining the military or practicing war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Regardless, we owe a great deal to those who keep us safe.
My brother attended West Point and served in the Army. During WWII my father was an Army officer who served in the European theater. Uncle Wayne was a Navy pilot. My mother worked at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant – a dangerous job building and packing shells. My step-mother was an Army nurse. My step-father was in the Navy floating in a life raft in the Pacific (as well as other war-time duties). My paternal grandfather held the lowly rank of wagoner in WWI (he was a farm boy who could handle a team of horses.) but his job all over bloody France was as a wagoner/corpsman – he had a wagon and therefore he picked up the dead and wounded as well as trying to help those dying of disease.
With all those and many more I’m sure there are some fascinating or horrifying tales to tell. Of course we have stories – we are the survivors. All those wasted lives . . . all those who died are not telling stories; and since they were mostly young – have no descendants to carry on. The world was forever altered because they left before their time. So, as we salute those who protect and serve let’s all look to the day when, like the Quakers, we can practice war no more. In the meantime, we are thankful for our military forces.
God Bless our Veterans and their families.
Follow this link for more awesome Veterans Day posters: http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/gallery.asp
Credits: U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day Poster Gallery, http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/gallery.asp