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Tag Archives: Appreciation

veterans

Life happens. People fight battles every day and show their truest and most vulnerable selves. However, not everyone returns or as they left, and those are to whom Honor Flights offers comfort, praise, encouragement, and surrounds them, as well as their friends and family, with support.

While waiting in Reagan National Airport, in Washington DC, to fly to my own father-in-law’s funeral, I witnessed an amazing thing.  As flights came in and out of the gates and people streamed to their destinations, people around me began to stand.  They moved closer to the center of the waiting area.  They began to clap and the noise of applause swelled as older men and women moved between them.

It was not a celebrity, although I certainly wondered what was going on and drawing so much attention, but more and more people moved to the middle of the space and lined several deep.  A long line of veterans filed past.  Some walking on their own, some in wheelchairs, and most accompanied by a family member or guardian.  Each wore a t-shirt that said that “Veteran” and the war that they had fought in.  Most had been embattled in Vietnam, but there were some from the Korean War as well as a few from World War II.  Personnel from all levels of service were present, and as I watched, hundreds and hundreds of soldiers continued to stream from the gates bringing them to Washington D.C. to tour Arlington Cemetery and the many memorials and museums.

Honor Flight ( https://www.honorflight.org/ )is a non-profit that brings veterans to Washington to see the war memorials, honor the fallen, and find comfort with their comrades, their brothers and sisters-in-arms.   They flew almost 21,000 veterans to the Nation’s Capital in 2016 and fly out of 131 hubs in 45 states across the United States.  Their waiting list is 28,000 strong.

I was unaware of their mission or organization.  Yet, standing there, observing the emotional and physical energy of those around me, it occurred to me how many of these men came home from Vietnam broken and dishonored.  The country did not support the war as a whole and many who fought were not welcomed kindly.

What a look of disbelief on the faces of those people almost fifty years later!  Applause and smiles surrounded them, the clapping and cheering growing in pace and sound.  It was such a moving experience to be a part of and feel the surge of pride and grateful thanks to those whose service has changed our country in profound ways.

Perhaps the experiences are heightened in Washington D.C. of every political downturn and bitter partisan expression.  This was a unified group of citizens, undefined by any distinguishing factor, who rose in a wave of compassion and gratitude for so many unsung and unheralded.

This was a homecoming most never experienced and a privilege for those of us who did not live in those times of conflict and fear.  It was a precious opportunity to thank our veterans, and their families, whose sacrifice was so acute and whose lives were forever changed.  I stood there for more than 30 minutes observing this crowd arriving, moving through the airport, and accepting the love and gratitude they had to wait almost fifty years to receive.  It was a powerful moment for these veterans and for those of us who stood to honor them.  It was indeed a privilege to thank them for their service and wish them well on the next part of their journey home.

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Thank you so much for stopping by.  Your visit means so much to me.

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may you never forget what is worth remembering

These are the ones that made my list. What are some of the things you have learned along the way?

Life is too short to wallow in someone else’s muck.

As long as you can still find something to laugh about, you are doing alright.

No matter how hard you try to rationalize someone else’s bad behavior, you won’t feel better about how badly they treated you.

Even a psychiatrist cannot change a light bulb if it is not willing to change…..and there are some pretty dim bulbs out there.

Choosing to remove yourself, and hold your head up high, is always more empowering than letting other people exclude you.

There is no such thing as too much kindness or compassion.

If someone asks “How Are You?” as they keep walking past you, they don’t really care about the answer.  Eye contact, or lack thereof, is an indication.

You will never find out who you really are if you are only willing to look as far as your mirror.

You don’t have to give birth to change the life of a child.

Choose to smile at someone and go the extra mile. It is not for them anymore, it is just for you and your dignity.

No matter how bad, or insecure, you may feel about yourself, ultimately, you will have enough self-esteem to keep someone else from putting you down. Trust me, it really is there.

It is OK to acknowledge the fear and the anxiety in daily situations and keep going.

If you have forged a new path, make it easy for someone to follow.

Your parents are not 100% wrong all the time. Leave some room in your life for error.

You are never responsible for someone else’s bad behavior. They are. Nothing you could ever do will make someone else behave badly unless he or she chooses to act that way.

Quitting is hard, and can affect your confidence, but there is strength in knowing when enough is enough.

There will always be people who have more than you. But, there will always be people who have less.

Say “please” and “thank you” to anyone who does something for you or helps you. Even if you pay them, they still deserve the respect and courtesy of good manners.

There is only one true Judge and it does not have to be me.

Charity is not just giving money. It is a state of mind and an act of being.

It is OK to cry and to grieve your losses no matter how little, or how much, time has passed. It comes in waves, and when the swells rise, the tears will fall.

Remember that it is normal and human to cry and grieve and that those who think it is “negative,” or tell you not to cry, or avoid you, have their own mental and emotional issues to sort out. Being human and empathetic is the way we were created to behave in these circumstances.

You can empathize with people if you have experienced difficult and life-searing changes and are honest about them. People can see phony from a mile away.

In the end, it does not matter how much you have or how much you spent. It matters if you were a mensch (human being).

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Thank you so much for stopping by. It means more than you know.

PLEASE feel free to add your own lessons learned as there is so much more I need to know.

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treat a man way he should become_emerson.jpg

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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calla lilies purple

 

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
― Luther Burbank

Three years ago, on Mother’s Day, I was gifted four calla lily plants by my children.  As this is my favorite flower ~ in all of its variations ~ the plants were multicolored.  Removed from their plastic pots, they were replanted near the front door, but I didn’t know if they would come up again or if the deer would eat them all.  They had eaten my tulips, bulbs and all!!

They grew again!! Their growing rates were staggered and I enjoyed some temporary beautiful lush blooms.  It does help to see new growth before our eyes instead of only within.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/growth-2/

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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