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Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11

Today is November 11th, 2011.  Or 11-11-11.  

It's pretty cool when dates come up like that.  When something big happens on them it's easy to remember when it happened and for some who might be superstitious it's a bit freaky or scary.  Luckily I am not one of those people.  I know someone about to give birth and today would be a good day for it.  The child would always have 11-11-11 to write down in the "birthdate" slot on forms and papers.

But I'm thinking about 11-11-11 more today because it's Veterans Day.  It's a date picked on the calendar to officially stop and thank all the Americans who, whether drafted or enlisted, gave their time and put their life on the line for our country.   This day is for those soldiers who LIVED to tell about it.  (If they didn't then we will honor the dead who gave the "ultimate sacrifice" on Memorial Day.)

I have always had very mixed feelings about the military.  In reality I know it's necessary to have the military to keep our country safe and free.  Without the men and women who are in the Armed Forces we would very well have been taken over by another country,  one with dictators and ideas we do not believe in.  Our forefathers came here for a life of freedoms and fairness, that even with some problems, is still an amazing way to live!!   We Americans are very fortunate.

So, this musing is not to talk about the problems we still have here in our country. Instead, it's to remind ME that today is a celebration day for all those who served and have helped keep this wonderful place we all call home the way it is.  I admire those who have fought for it. I know they are proud, and I also know they are forever changed.

So, here's my confession:  I put God first, then my family, then my country.  (3 things I will NOT forget Gov. Perry! ha)  Seriously, in that order!  So, I sometimes think and struggle with what God thinks of how we fight each other and kill in wars.  Murder is wrong.  But when it's organized and for a "better good" is it acceptable?     Then, I think of my family.  I have 2 daughters that I love beyond words and I admit, I am glad they didn't serve in the military.  I feel guilty for saying it.  Had there been a draft 5 - 7 years ago I don't know what I would have said to them.  Encouraged them to be a draft-dodger?  Maybe. 

I have some cousins who I love, and who have served and have children who have served - and rightly, they are very proud.  Please know I am not writing this to be offensive.  Really, I admire what military service takes, mentally and physically.  I admire the strong belief of being in an organization that keeps our country free.  So, thank you.  Really, thank you!!  

I know learning to use a weapon, learning to fight, and being a member of the armed forces is tough. It's life-changing.   War always brings with it pain and death.  It is not something ever totally out of the minds of those who saw action.  Even if they come back to the US and don't talk about it, the memories and the "mindset" is still there.  Yes, forever changed.  So, today, 11-11-11, I stop and say  I'm glad you stayed alive and are living as a veteran of war.  I admire your bravery and your willingness to put your very life on the line for America.  I truly thank you for that. 

3 comments:

  1. I think many people are conflicted. I grew up as the daughter of a career Marine so I suppose my viewpoint is slanted. : ) I guess at the heart of what I believe is that there is evil in this world. I think about what our own country might be like had we not intervened in WW2. We have to stand up as a nation against injustice and cruelty and sometimes that means going to war. Sometimes it means just having the capablitly to go to war without actually going. I don't think God loves war but I do think He expects us to act when atrocities are being committed. I think waht happened to the Jews in WW2 broke His heart.

    My dad fought in three wars but he did not talk a lot about those experiences. I do know I feel great pride in our military and people who are willing to put their lives on the line for me. War is hard and sad but sometimes neccessary. That's my .02 which is maybe more than you wanted : )

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  2. Thank you Joyce. I feel very much like you do. My father served too. I just meant that I can be conflicted about it at times. But, I truly truly admire those who serve and yes, atrocities can not be allowed! We have to stop the evil with war when there is no other way. I hope & pray our leaders do it as best they can without taking innocent lives.
    I offended some in my family by this blog and I am sorry. I got a mean spirited note. I only expressed my inner conflict in trying to be a loving person to all, and yes,in being anti-war as much as possible. I have found out it's a very touchy subject!! but, I have the right to question without being called ignorant (which I think I was). It's okay to disagree without calling people names. So, thanks Joyce for your reply...I also got a nice email letter from a friend with many family members in the military.

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  3. Marla, I also understand how you feel. My husband was in the Air Force so I saw the sacrifice but we have children and would hate to see them drafted and have to leave there families. I get the conflict, really I do.

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