Dad is a veteran of the United States Air Force and served 26 years. My brother-in-law, Walter, is a veteran of the United States Army and served 20 years. Our dear friend, Ben, served 23 years and is also an Army guy. I know others who have given their lives in service to our country and many who are still serving. I am a military “brat” and have the highest respect for all of those who have served and continue to serve.
Mom served, too. As a military wife, she was honored when Dad retired with a Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Air Force. It hangs above the table where we can see it clearly. It says:
To all who shall see these presents, Greeting: This is to certify that Ruth Bunn on the occasion of the retirement of her husband from active duty with the United States Air Force has earned grateful appreciation for her own unselfish, faithful, and devoted service. Her unfailing support and understanding helped to make possible her husband’s lasting contribution to the Nation on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred, and seventy-six.
It’s signed by George C. Cannon, Jr, Brig Gen, USAF, and David Jones, Chief of Staff.
Sunday night I watched the National Memorial Day Concert sponsored by the Public Broadcasting Service at the White House. (If you missed it, here is the link the video.) It was a beautiful time of honor and remembrance for those who served and died for our country. There were several actors who spoke the words of some who served and survived and who now minister to veterans at home. There were many musical performances from all genres.
One of the most emotional moments for me was the vignette of the mothers who tend their sons’ graves. (See it at 1:07:13 – after Colin Powell’s remarks.) Watching their story, I thought of my own precious mother. Just as their love was evident in their eyes, so is her love. There are so many mothers, sisters, daughters – and fathers, brothers, and sons – who gave so much. They, too, gave “unfailing support and understanding (to) make possible…lasting contribution…”
On this day of remembrance, I certainly want to give my gratitude to those who gave their lives for my freedom. I also want to share my gratitude with those who love them. It is that community of family, friends, teachers, and mentors who encourage men and women to serve our country in the military.