Ok. I don't get it.
What exactly is the deal with all of these holidays??
First off, we've got Memorial Day.
Apparently this is the day that we remember those who are dead. However, it becomes a day when we recall the great sacrifices that servicemen gave while on duty to our country.
Then you have Veteran's Day. This is a day to commemorate those who are and have served our country to keep it safe and secure.
Yet even this holiday leads folks to think about other loved ones who have passed on.
So in my mind, these two holidays seem quite interchangable. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a problem keeping these two straight?
On a more serious note, I'd like to remember a man I know who served:
My grandfather was a young (15) man when World War II broke out. Not wanting to be left out of a life-changing event, he was helped by his father to claim that we was 18, and enlisted in the war effort. After a short three weeks in Basic Training, he was then assigned a "posh" posting on one of the most powerful posts in the military at that point in time: The USS Arizona.
Little did anyone know how close to death this man would come. A few short months later, he was one of the survivors of the biggest sneak-attack that our country has ever known: Pearl Harbor.
Being a deck hand, when the attack hit, one of the first bombs hit, throwing him clear of the railing, and into the waters of the Harbor. This single action actually saved his life, and only left him with minor shrapnel injuries.
Two months after the attack, he was reassigned to the USS Missouri, and from there was able to witness the end of the conflict with Japan.
He was able to have a VERY unique position during the war. Yes, he never saw action in Europe, but he was there to witness the start and the end of the conflict with Japan. I actually find it quite amazing that someone could have the astronomical odds to be stationed on two battleships that live in such fame. The Arizona, which is now a memorial for those who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Missouri where the formal signatures were signed for the cease-fire agreement between the US and Japan at the end of the war.
This man was my hero, and even though he's gone now, he is still a man I'd love to be able to emulate.
I miss you grandpa, and I can't wait until the day that I'll be able to see you again, and laugh like old times.
Happy Veteran's Day to you all!