This past week my dad, Oliver Norton, was given the flag that had flown over the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, and then subsequently flown in the city of Hoover. It was a family celebration as my husband, Neal, a career fireman, presented him the flag folded and neatly placed inside the triangular case. It was amazing to see my siblings, our spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered to celebrate this day with them. Dad was honored as a veteran for his service in the U.S. Navy.
Dad often spoke of his days at sea and the duties they had on board. Mom was a war bride, as they were married while Dad was on leave during his first year in service in 1946. But their life together was put on hold while Dad finished his Navy service. Mom and Dad wrote letters to each other and sent photos back and forth. I am sure the days were long between correspondence, and anxiety of not knowing would crowd their thoughts. But they pressed on hoping for the day their life together would begin when he came home.
Today we honor all of the men and women who have served our country. How do you say thank you to generations of heroes who fought for our freedoms and to those who guard us daily while we go about our routines? Words fail, but overwhelming gratitude fills my heart. Thank you so much for your service. Thank you for our freedom and for protecting us. We owe you a deep debt of gratitude today and every day.
Do you have a veteran in your family? I’ve love to hear his or her story.