The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A moment of silent, quiet reflection.
Today, Veteran’s Day 2009, I am remembering. My Dad’s generation was the generation that fought World War II. We don’t know much if any of my Dad’s whole military service. Like many of his generation, it was not something to be shared or talked about. Yet, over time a few vignettes were revealed to us. Glimpses into the past both funny and frightening.
I look at the photograph of Dad when he was in the Army. I am not sure whether this photograph was before or after he was shipped to the European Theater, but I do know it was taken in Buffalo. In the fading photograph I can see a much younger version of the man I recall — and if my mathematical calculations are correct, this photograph was taken when my Dad was 27 or 28. I have a son who is older than that and the poignancy of this thought puts tears in my eyes.
The events this week at Fort Hood once again remind me again of the human toll of service to country. No matter what the politics of war, no matter how much or how little I have in common with service men and women, today is a day of remembrance.
So at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I stand among the trees in my wooded yard. And to the toll of the churchbell on the Common at precisely 11:00, I stop to remember. Happy Veteran’s Day.