During my junior high and high school years the Vietnam War was the continuing story on the news every night. There was much opposition to the war. I remember the peace rallies, the peace signs, the war protests, the hippy movement that sort of coincided with all of this. The anti-government sentiment was strong in the public institutions of education. I remember watching a public debate between a conservative and a liberal on my high school campus, the conservative didn't even have a chance. The cheers and boos started before the debate even got going. My family was more on the conservative pendulum so I didn't really agree with all the anti-war protesting going on. Although, I do see some of it differently now. There are times when you stand up. "Stand up for what is right even if you have to stand alone," is a saying that one applies to many of these things.
The Vietnam War became personal one day in the form of a classmate's reaction. This high school peer was a year younger than me. He also had a brother a year older than me. This guy's family were cowboys, a bit loud, and a bit in the middle of high school activities. (I wasn't.) In class one day, some students were ragging on the endless Vietnam War and putting it down in every form, blaming the government and all the things that they thought were stupid about the war. This young man spoke up after this had gone on for several minutes, with his emotions barely in-check he informed the class that his oldest brother had died while fighting in Vietnam, that he and the others who had served in the war deserved a little respect. He had my attention.
We could see his respect for his brother. And we could feel his loss. The teacher was silent. The class hushed. The conversation silenced. On that day he gained my respect. I never forgot the incident. This student spoke up for the honor of his brother, an honor due him, he who had given his all. The class of students had not considered or regarded this in their point of view. Have you ever noticed that usually only one side gets to speak in times like this? Many years later this same young man delivered a truckload of product to the farm where I lived. He was driving a semi-truck. I recognized him when we spoke briefly. I never mentioned my memory of him in high school. He offered my oldest son who was around five at the time, a ride in the truck around the outbuildings on the farm. But my son was a bit too shy. It made me feel happy that he had done so. My son recently mentioned this memory, and said he wished he had done it!
So, today, thank the Americans who believe in liberty and freedom. Thank those who are serving our country. Thank those who have served in the past. Pray for all of those serving. Pray for our Commander In Chief, that he will lead in a way that serves America best and in the best interest of our military women and men.
MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA