I attended a special Veteran's Day service and listened to a stirring cantata given by the choir.
During the service, each veteran and active service member stood and told his or her branch and duty. I especially appreciated this part of the service because I knew most of the veterans present but did not know of their service to our country.
In the days following the horrible attack at Fort Hood Army Post in Texas, we are reminded once again that the sacrifices of the few provide blessings to the many.
During the memorial service yesterday, this was demonstrated in a poignant way when each fallen soldier's name was given during the roll call.
In the silence after each name was called I thought of the families who would no longer hear those voices. Each military family gives their best and brightest to a nation who, regretfully, is not always supportive or grateful.
We must remember that those who can spread the hope of freedom are those who have enjoyed its benefits.
If you do not feel gratitude for the liberty you enjoy, it is time to look around you and observe exactly what you have been given.
Make a list of all the things you are free to do that were paid for by the blood of patriots before you.
And then say "Thank You."
It is important and I daresay, it is, at the very least, our duty.
To all of the great men and women who have given themselves in service to this country, I thank you.
To the soldiers in my family, I am proud to know you.
You are great Americans.
photos: American flag at Ft. Campbell, KY; brother's saying goodbye; 101st Airborne 1-502 return from service in Iraq 2006