This is a guest blog post written by Maitland LaForce, Chaplain with Halcyon Hospice and USAF Veteran.
November 11, 2013 will long be remembered by Halcyon Hospice and Autumn Breeze staff, residents and their family members as a day of honor as retired veterans were recognized for their service to our country. Some served in Korea, South Pacific, Germany, South Pole, New Zealand, Russia, Asia, Viet Nam and the United States. It was a proud day as we took this time to remember.
The attendees and family members were seated with decorations up and patriotic music playing as each veteran heard their name called. One by one they rose, standing up as straight as they could, each of them walking forward with pride as applause resonated through the audience. These men and woman haven’t stood this tall in months. But when called, they remembered a part of their lives that shaped them to be the people they are today.
As I observed the activities, listened to the stories and watched the faces of all those present, I felt deep appreciation and gratitude for our nation’s heroes. I also realized the importance of having heroes that model excellence, bravery and honor. I asked, “If your country needed you today how many of you would answer the call?” It was of no surprise that every single one of them again stood for their country. One veteran laughingly stated that his country could have all that is left of him.
Someone said, ‘There is no future for America unless we grow patriots – not just people who say they love America, but people who defend and support America.” We need to help our young men and women to exhibit courage, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity, citizenship, and commitment. By sharing in these ceremonies and listening to these veterans stories we are passing those core values on.