IMG_3074My thoughts this morning woke me from a good sleep.  It is Veteran’s Day.  Memories are preceded by thoughts of gratitude.

I am glad that I did not wake up in a country that is torn apart by war.  Outside there is peace that surrounds this house.  Explosions, gunfire, military aircraft are not filling the morning with the latest in armed conflict.

Instead, veterans lived through all of that on my behalf and on behalf of our entire nation in days gone by.  Many are still living through those tough times in faraway places, obeying deployment orders.  Here at home we awake to freedom because of the life of patriotism that others have lived on our behalf.  I nod in private realization that on this special day to honor all of our military, past and present, I am thankful.

On my mind is my late father.  He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  He was assigned to a military installation in the Philippines.  Yay, Dad!

Whether it was a parent, uncle, aunt, sibling or child, many dressed in a uniform for the duties and risks that keep us all safe.  Thoughts of them living and fighting for my freedom is on the forefront of my mind.  I am grateful.

Today, there will be many flags flown.  Those cloth emblems will flutter in the breeze, flap with the wind gusts and float proudly in safe skies because of veterans who served with honor.  They have made their families and this nation proud.

There is another symbol that will be highlighted today.  It is the cross.  This special sign is a wonderful hope that those who have passed on in battle or in life have not been forgotten.

An empty cross represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He died so that all may have the chance to live forever if they put their faith in Him.  That amazing truth gives us all hope in the final resurrection.

Families and loved ones have marked many graves with this symbol.  It reminds us that our faith in eternity is real.  Our Father in Heaven has given us encouragement to persevere and look forward to inevitable reunions with those who have gone before us.

It is a fitting reminder of the lives lived and the lives given so that each of us here can live with liberty and pursue the happiness that fills our soul.  Thank you Vets!  We are all very grateful for you.

Photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography