Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans' Day

Veterans' Day was always such a big deal when I was younger. We would have a big program in the high school gym where veterans from all over the school district would come. The band would play a few patriotic songs, a guest would speak about how honorable military service was, and we would honor those who fought for our country. Just talking about it usually brought my dad to tears. He had such respect for my grandpa and all those who went abroad to fight for freedom. The part of the program that I felt was particularly moving was when the band would play the marches for each of the branches of the military, those veterans who had fought for each branch would stand when their march was played. My grandpa, who served in the Navy during World War II, and narrowly missed being in Hawaii during Pearl Harbor, participated in the program every year until his death. How different the program felt when he was gone.

Here in New York, I barely remembered that yesterday was Veterans' Day. I knew that there was a parade but wasn't able to attend. Most people around me went about their daily routine as if nothing was different. The only celebration I had was a lone musician playing battle hymns in the subway.