One of the less publicized features of the upcoming Gathering in Berryville is the inclusion of a ceremony honoring veterans. Coming just before Veterans Day, the timing is perfect.
Veterans Day is one of my favorite annual observances. Each year I take the opportunity to say thanks to the veterans in my circle of family and friends. Often this takes the form of small gifts left on front porches—typically, with my friends, the token is a bottle of some favored hooch. The note says simply, “Thank you for your service to our country.”
For other veterans I know, the thanks comes in the form of a short phone call, an email, or text. For some of my vet friends, this might be our only contact throughout the year. Another tradition of mine is to stop at a cemetery, have a walk among the markers decorated with flags, and pause at several to read the names. It feels good when I stop at the marker of a vet who lived long after his service and into old age; I linger longer and reflect at the markers of those who died in service.
I know a number of people who have their own special way of recognizing the veterans in their lives—a special meal, a drink at a local watering hole, having a cigar after a walk, attending a parade or other public gathering.
There are lots of ways to say thanks. If you attend a meeting for work on Veterans Day, you can ask who at the conference the table is a vet, so that everyone can acknowledge them. I’ve met construction crew bosses who buy lunch for everyone on Veterans Day. Others I know call friends who are parents of those who died in combat operations—just to let them know their son or daughter is not forgotten.
Or maybe a vet you know could benefit from the types of services Karen Cifala describes on page 5; say thanks by sharing this information with them.
Who are the veterans in your circle? On November 11, reach out and say thanks.
If you want to publicly say thanks to someone, visit our Facebook page November 11 and comment on our special Veterans Day post.