Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Veterans Day Salute

grat·i·tude [grat-i-tood]:  –noun
the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: Our gratitude to the members of our armed forces is beyond words.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” 
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

There are few things I admire more in this world than people who are willing to put their life on the line for something greater than themselves. There is no doubt that we all enjoy our freedoms, but few of us ever really stop and think about what keeps those freedoms in place. As George Orwell famously put it, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Every man and woman serving in the military today is someone who sat down at some point and said to themselves, "It's not enough for me to simply enjoy these freedoms; I'm going to protect them." Not content to sleep safe in their beds, these are people who volunteered to undergo grueling training, leave the comforts of home and the reassuring presence of friends and family, go into dangerous situations where they KNOW someone will try to kill them, and attempt to bring peace.

Sure, we all want peace. We teach our children not to fight. We gather in communities to have vigils or prayer services or charity drives, and try not to yell too much at other drivers on the road. When there's a disturbance, we call the police (another group of admirable people I'll write about later) to bring peace to the conflict. Each of us contributes in our own way to keeping the peace. Not too many of us have the guts to dodge a sniper's bullet for it.

In the spirit of Veterans Day, there is a small way we can help our servicemen and -women bring peace where it is lacking, and it's one that parents above all can really support: DONATE YOUR HALLOWEEN CANDY.


Through Operation Gratitude, now through December 3rd you can donate Halloween candy, small stuffed animals, etc, and they will ship those donations to our troops serving overseas. Some of course is kept by soldiers in need of a morale boost. The rest is given by the soldiers to the local children, who sometimes express their gratitude for the sweet treats by pointing out where along the road explosives have been buried. It's amazing how a little gratitude passed from hand to hand can turn into something big! Save a soldier's life; send candy.

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