In recent days, I have been contemplating the strife that permeates our society… the massive division in politics, economics, education and in healthcare. Now, we see an alarming divide developing within our military around numerous issues which impact readiness.
Looking back on history, it’s no surprise… there has always been conflict and strife. The difference has been, for the most part, our willingness to stand together against our enemies to preserve the Union.
A few weeks ago, a fellow Desert Storm Veteran sent me a copy of his latest book called “A Lineage of Warriors.”
Gregg Cummings, affectionately known as “Ranger” to our PATRIOT MISSION crew, has written a historical research eBook providing a strong overview of the last 13 wars in America’s 245-year history.
Ranger tells the story of heroes from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan. In the early part of the book, Ranger asks the reader why the US Flag is folded in a triangle?
“The reason it is folded in a triangle is because it represents the Tri-Corner hat of the very first patriot soldier who died for this nation… the soldier of the Revolutionary War.”
Ranger goes on to describe how the flag is instrumental in a military funeral which ends when the officer in charge presents this symbol of honor to the next of kin and says:
“On behalf of the President of the United States, please accept this flag as it is presented on behalf of a grateful nation, and its armed forces, as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable, faithful, and dedicated service.”
When I read Ranger’s words, my eyes started to well up because I realized next week, my family will receive our Flag from the Navy Honor Guard at my Dad’s Arlington National Cemetery Funeral.
Memorial Day honors those who have given their lives in our nation’s service, while Veterans Day recognizes all those who have served.
My Dad, like many Veterans, served his Navy tour and then went on to a career outside the military. However, his time in the service was especially formative.
Growing up, my sisters and I learned about America through the eyes of a patriotic Veteran… our Dad.
He told stories about our nation’s history and why it was so important to understand conflicts of the past so we could apply them to our future.
Our Dad, like Dads and Moms throughout these last 245 years, stepped up to serve and then taught their kids why America matters.
We learned why America is the Shining City on a Hill, why we stand as the flag passes and why we place our hands over our hearts during the Star Spangled Banner.
We learned why young men and women throughout history have volunteered to put their lives on the line for their fellow American citizens.
Sadly, as I look out across the landscape this Veterans Day, there is a growing concern many young people have no idea why America matters.
Veterans Day is one day when we can come together and look into the eyes of our future. The question is, what seeds will we plant in the fertile minds of these precious young people?
On this Veterans Day, reach out to a young person in your life and share a reason why America matters to you and why the American Soldier is special.
As many of us in the geezer generation have learned, kids don’t particularly want a lecture. You might consider playing this classic music video for them… it may just connect.
Toby Keith’s American Soldier is a great tune and the graphics tell powerful stories throughout different conflicts in our history. https://youtu.be/DWrMeBR8W-c
May God Bless America,
P.S. I encourage you to pick up Ranger’s e-Book… it’s a short, easy read with great stories to share with the young folks in your world. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09H2D257V