A moment of silence… A pause out of respect for the brave and courageous men and women that have and still are fighting for freedom around the world. How much is that pause worth? The truth is, it’s priceless.
Steam rises from the flight deck of The USS John C Stennis CVN 74. The loud movement of the catapults dominates the flight deck. Aviation boatswain mates are always ready to launch F/18 rhinos locked loaded and weapons tight, ready to answer the call of forces on the ground that needs any assistance. Only a few feet away from a constant jet blast, the catapult team kneels momentarily as the rhino’s afterburners light up the night. The rumble shakes the flight deck and soon explodes off into the night. There are still eight more birds to launch in the next 8 minutes. It’s barely 5 a.m. It’s daily pressure and high stress but the honor courage and commitment and will to overcome is what grips victory. It takes a team to do it. It takes training, sweat, blood and dedication to produce a team of trained professionals. War heroes, our veterans.
Assembled under the exuberant red,white and blue they are the fighting sword and shining shield.
The support of their families and everyday Americans that send out care packages, encouraging letters from families and holiday gifts when they can’t come home. Some never come home. They can only live on through memories and refection from Americans just like yourself. Seasoned veteran of the USS John C stennis CVN 74 Michael James long comments on why it’s an important time to remember, “Veterans day is important because its pays homage to those before us and let’s us know we will always be remembered as veterans who stood in the front line of war to protect others.”
“It’s a time to remember those who died defending and pushing freedom higher and never got to taste its sweetness. This country was mostly built off of the blood, sweat and tears of the military. People don’t have to like Veterans but It’s only right to show respect,” retired veteran Cedric Davis commented.
“Freedom isn’t free. Those that come back to their families sweet embrace never forgot their fallen brothers and sisters in combat. Neither should the American people. Their spirit can only live on through the warm support and reflection of the American citizens. It reminds us of the people who have risked their lives and given the ultimate sacrifice for our great country and the American people, giving all of us the freedoms we now have,” Clayton Hudson of Silverdale,Wash. noted strongly.
Soldiers heading out are just a important as their journey back from war. Families and relatives from far and wide come to pay respect, support and love for a job well done. It’s a time of celebration and meaning. A tone that establishes and echoes the continuing spirit of freedom will never fade. “It’s important because it lets vets know that there are still people out there that appreciate our past sacrifices,” Christie Branch, Navy veteran and dedicated parent of Woodland, Calif. reflected.
Life long lessons are taken from battlefields, warzones and the most stressful situations ever seen from soldiers sailors and pilots in our fine U.S. Military. The perspective of a veteran is different. Many head to college to embrace their dreams and transform themselves and how other think as individuals. Daniel Burger, a marine veteran of Bellevue College is among them and shares his thoughts, “It’s a day to reflect on people who have sacrificed so much so Americans have the right to vote, to walk down the street and have the gift of freedom. Safe from improvised explosive devices, car bombs and the dangers of war so they may live in safety.”
Take a moment to show respect for men and women that have given their lives for days and dreams that are now real but they never had. An equality and level of comfort many take for granted. The handshake of a veteran is always potent and their embrace deep. As the American people,that handshake with continued support and deep “HOO-RAH.” Do this is in memory of on this given day.