I woke up this morning (Nov 11th) to find out that a couple more of our WWII Vet’s had passed away in the night. I don’t think I ever took the time to thank them for their service and sacrifices they made for me and this country.
Mason has a history of its residents serving in the armed forces as far back as the civil war, and just about every war and conflict since then. A proud heritage of service to your country. Many have laid down their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy today.
Mason has veterans living among us today that have served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan and other places. These vets chose this path to serve their country; nobody made them or forced them to. They felt a duty to serve their country first. If you ask them why, they simply and humbly say they knew it was the right thing to do. They didn’t enlist for the glory or fame. They didn’t enlist for the money or benefits. They did it because they thought it was the right thing to do. Now that doesn’t make them right or wrong in their choice to serve, or you right or wrong for not serving. It was their choice.
Some of them served without any conflicts or seeing any action. Some of them have seen things that would make you tremble for the rest of your life. Many of them like to share their stories with you, some of them still can’t talk about what they have seen or been through, but everyone of them was willing to lay down their lives for yours and you expect nothing less from them.
This past Wednesday was the fourth Veterans Day Service I have attended in as many years I have lived here. Each year it grieves me even more as fewer and fewer people are present at this event. While I stand in the small crowd that gathers and look at the aging faces of your heroes that have served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam etc. as I listen to the list of names of those who are currently serving around the world, listen to the patriotic songs being sung, then finally TAPS being played I feel my gut tighten and a tear forms in my eye, I hold it in and I look again at your heroes among us, and I feel proud! I stand tall! I am proud to be among your heroes and boy do you have some!
I look out at the spectators, the few that come out to show honor to theses men and women who have defended their freedoms. Thank you for coming, I say to them, thank you.
Where are the other people? How busy is this great little town that they can’t spare 30 minutes of their time once a year to come out and honor those who have sacrificed so much of their lives for your freedoms. How busy are you that you can’t schedule a few minutes of your time to pay respect to these heroes on Veterans Day. I have seen several places around the square that had signs in their windows "We will be closed on November 11th, in observance of Veterans Day". Where were those folks at? My family and I have only lived in Mason for 4 years and have loved this place since we first visited here. We enjoy meeting new people just about every day. I have had the opportunity to meet many of the Veterans that live here and am proud to shake their hands and offer them a humble thanks.
Mason, you have a great heritage of military service in this community. You must not forget these men and women who live among you, you must not forget the sacrifices they made for your freedoms. When you see them walking by or sitting down close by just reach out a hand or pat them on the shoulder and say "thanks". They won’t be here forever.