Wednesday I took my doodles to a fourth of July parade. It was their first, and I tried to do my duty as a mother and help them enjoy as much as possible. This included narrating some of the parade participants. Early into the parade a large military vehicle containing six very elderly gentlemen in uniform came past. I bent down to explain this to my mackerdoodle.
“Honey, a long time ago, these men fought in a war so that we could be safe.” I said, and then looked up to read the sign on the vehicle. “Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.” The rest of my narration caught in my throat. The battle of the Bulge was really awful. I know enough of history to know that. Here were men who survived something horrible, and suddenly clapping as they drove by seemed insultingly shallow, but not clapping seemed insultingly . . . well, insulting. I didn’t feel good about anything, so I clapped and waved, and had a small catch in my throat.
I couldn’t thank those men personally, but today I would like to say thank you to the men I know – Louis Crist, Alec Moyer, Loran Montgomery, Joe Catudal, Jonathan Nick Thompson, Jimmy Madore, Adam Crocker, Mark Timmons, Travis Cornwall, Caleb Atkinson, and I’m sure I am missing several – who have volunteered to place yourselves in harms way in defense of the world as we know it.