Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today's guest author: Cheryl Williams

I love everybody who is contributing this month, but I am REALLY excited to introduce today's Blog Sitter: Cheryl Williams is an exceptionally talented writer and a fresh voice that I think we'll all be hearing big things from in the future. You can follow her at her web site, Common Knowledge Magazine, which is dedicated to "Celebrating freedom of expression one post at a time." I was unable to publish her contribution in time for Veteran's Day, but her message is relevant beyond the calendar date.

Veterans Day: Food for the Soul

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. --John F. Kennedy

It's the dinner hour in Smalltown, USA. After a long day of heartfelt memoriam, many military families make their way in droves to the local diner. Everyone knows hearty food and fellowship is a recipe for uplifting spirits. Likewise, with each Veterans Day many restaurants proudly fill a soldier's belly with a down-home meal free of charge. Needless to say, this has become a family tradition...

Over the distinct clamor of boots, chatter and clinking china, my thoughts fell silent as I stared off into the hungry crowd. Today, America honors her brave... flags set half mass, heads bow and trumpets blow. Meaningful ceremonies and heartfelt gestures symbolize the sentiments of the day. Yet, I dare say its within subtle moments such as these where we truly take in what Veteran's day means for not only veterans, but us all. Suddenly, my gaze fell upon my aging father (a Vietnam War veteran) chuckling in solace along with fellow veterans, as each worked his or her way to a healthy helping of mashed potatoes. It is a communal yet remarkable scene – witnessing the pride and purpose, mutual respect and shared solace only seen in the eyes and deep camaraderie between men and women who've served, fought and lost; including the mutual understanding among the dedicated husbands, wives and children who keep them going each day. It's in these quite moments, I feel ever grateful -- once again, reminded of not the struggles and sacrifices it took [and continues to take] for us to be here.

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