And I won’t forget the men and women who gave that right to me

I nearly danced into my polling place this year, so thrilled by the warm weather and the cheerful busyness of a democracy at work.

You don’t have to look too far outside of this country to recognize how privileged we are to participate in free and fair elections. We are a young, cantakerous, imperfect, vast and varied group of people. We still have a lot to learn about where we came from, who we are and how we treat each other.

And every single morning we wake up with the opportunity to improve.

That’s freedom, baby.

Of course, it isn’t free. It’s born of a collective, overwhelming effort; nutured by introspection and a willingness to learn; advanced with bravery; protected through consistent, hard, heart-breaking work.

Three days after we exercise our right to vote, we get to thank the people who defend it. I love that too. I’d like to think election year Veteran’s Days have special meaning but, the truth is, every day should be a thank-a-veteran day.

I’ve written before about the veterans I admire, and the way they conduct themselves. I’ve offered suggestions for how to honor them that still hold true.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all who serve or have served.

We were lucky to live next door to this veteran, Doug Mahr. He once told my children that if they were ever scared about anything or anyone was bothering them that they should run right to him. Doug served his country with distinction and without fanfare.
We saw a lot of parades this summer and saluted a lot of veterans.
I’ve been voting in national elections for 40 years and the opportunity to do so still thrills me.

2 thoughts on “And I won’t forget the men and women who gave that right to me

  1. And I hugged a veteran every day for a little over 47 1/2 years! A big thank you to all our veterans.

  2. I always end my conversations with any veteran with “And thank you for your service.”

    Something is currently missing in educating some of our society on proper etiquette when our color guard/colors pass and the anthem is played. If physically able, one is to stand, remove one’s hat and place the right hand over one’s heart — normally, retired and active military salute — and remain that way until the color guard have departed. Talking to one another is not to be done. I can’t tell you the number of times I had people approach me at Guest Relations during the anthem — totally oblivious.

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