I've had soldiers on my mind lately. With the holidays in full force, everyone is reminding us to remember all of those who are not able to come home and be with their loved ones for the holidays. I think that is awesome. All of the different people and organizations reminding those who would not normally think about the people that are working for freedom.
Then I got the honor of being the lead sign carrier for Do Salute in the Wausau Christmas parade. It was amazing seeing all of the young boys saluting, the grown ups who "know" clapping and yelling,and the parents whispering to the children that didn't understand. Two moments stick out to me in memory. First was the two ladies on the bridge saluting me. My thought was that I did not deserve that honor and that they need to salute the flag coming up behind me. Then they yelled to me, "That's what your sign says." Amazing. And my favorite one was the dad with his two little girls in the car on the side of the road. I saw him whisper to them to get ready as we came out to them. They started clapping furiously and one of the little girls (probably about 2) leaned out the window (just a little) and yelled, "God bless America!" Absolutely fantastic.
Then I watched a movie this week that I picked up from the library because I liked the actors listed (Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal). The name of the movie is Brothers. I rerented it this week so that I can see if the hubby wants to watch it with me. It's an amazing story about one brother being released from jail and turning his life around while the other brother goes to war and is captured as a POW and what coming home means to him and his family. It was a powerful movie (definitely fulfills its R rating). The movie gave me the answer to a question that had been posed to me....Are there still POWs happening today? Yes. This movie shows you just how such a horrible thing can happen. It also showed me what a wonderfully powerful thing Do Salute can be for all of the soldiers that are going to be coming home soon.
Then I was at the library and saw The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas by Trish Holland and Christine Ford. This book pulls all my thoughts full circle. A wonderfully illustrated and written book for children to understand the need of soldiers at Christmas time.
Watch the movie, read the book, contact a Veteran's organization or any of the military branches and see what you can do to help make someone's Christmas just a little merrier. Do it for the fact that you have the ability to read this without fear. That you can drive down the road and not worry. That you can say "Merry Christmas" and not be worried about getting tortured. the fact that I can sit here with my girls and not worry about who's driving down the road or who may be flying over my house is all because of these wonderful soldiers from the past until the beginning of this country. I thought it was fitting to write this to post the day after the Pearl Harbor remembrance.
Have you hugged a soldier today? I know I have.