I love this time of year when the cool weather is here, and we tend to be outside more often. The leaves are gorgeous, and the colors are so vivid. Along one of the main streets are rows of flags in honor of Veterans Day. My dad was a Navy veteran, and since his death, we have revisited the memories and stories as Mom thinks of something she wants to share.
One of the things that we can’t imagine is that the only communication they had was by mail. They exchanged letters almost every day. I remember Dad telling us that after he read letters from home, they had to be destroyed. Members of his family would write, especially his mom, and his brothers occasionally. But Dad and Mom were high school sweethearts, and when he left, the written note became so important.
In his memoirs, Dad penned that he wrote Mom a letter and asked her to marry him when he was home on his first leave. She accepted his proposal by letter, and they were married the Christmas Eve that followed. Everything was by letter.
Veterans of WWII all corresponded by letter and waited for a very long time for news from home and updates on family. They relied totally on the post for everything.
My granddad Norton (Dad’s dad) was in WWI, and he sent embroidered postcards home to his mother periodically. I am the lucky recipient of those hand-embroidered cards. He purchased them in France when he was stationed there. What a treat to receive those!
Today our men in service have the instantaneous means of email, FaceTime, and text to keep in touch. But regardless of the method of getting news, they are still separated from family. The sacrifice of service coupled with separation is total commitment to our country.
I salute those who have served and those who are serving today, and I thank you for your commitment to this country. In my heart, Veterans Day is every day.
(Featured Photo: My parents at a celebration in 2014, where Dad was honored as a veteran for his service in the U.S. Navy and given a flag that had flown over the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.)