I'm very thankful to be an American.
I'm also thankful to have been raised with an deep and sincere appreciation for our nation's military. My dad retired as a Naval Lieutenant Commander when I was around 4 or 5 years old; but the military continued to be a part of our lives.
Dad was a fighter-pilot and served in three wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He did so proudly.
As a quirky tidbit for y'all, one of my earliest childhood memory is of my "polishing" my dad's "dress-white" shoes with Kiwi white shoe polish (more accurately, its "Scuff Cover" product). I absolutely loved "painting" his shoes . . . and I always tried to make sure that the shoes were beyond "inspection-ready." I loved seeing Dad in his dress whites, complete with his various ribbons depicting the medals that he had earned. I still have those ribbons. There ya go.
Dad died when I was in my mid 20s. He had a military funeral and is burried in a national cemetary. At his funeral, I was presented with his flag. It's one of my most treasured possessions.
While today, November 11th is the actual Veteran's Day for 2012, tomorrow will be the observed day. There will be parades throughout the country, along with various other memorial celebrations. I hope everyone who is an American has been able to take some time today (and will also be able to do so tomorrow) to reflect on how important our military is.
I encourage y'all to thank the military personnel you encounter throughout the day; both those in your circle of family and friends, and even those whom you do not know. The sacrifices that these men and women willingly give to their country are often beyond what we civilians can really ever fully comprehend.
Have a Blessed Veteran's Day,