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Monday, May 25, 2009

Little Things Can Mean A Lot

When our flight landed Saturday, the flight attendant made her announcement welcoming us to Atlanta and thanking us for choosing Delta airlines, she added something to the effect of, "And we are honored to have a serviceman on board with us today, please take a moment and show your appreciation for his service to our country."

The relatively quiet crowd came to life as we applauded the young man. I couldn't even see the back of the guy's head, but it made me happy to be able to do such a little thing.  Dare I admit that I got all teary?  I think I'm becoming a sap in my old age.

We don't see a lot of men and women in uniform in Bloomington, although there is a National Guard post here. Last year, I noticed some military guys for a few days in a row downtown.  I stopped in a little place for lunch one day and a group of them were eating together. There were too many of them to buy all their lunches, but I did treat them to a table full of iced teas and was able to say thanks in person on my way out.  I told them my life was peaceful and protected and I felt safe because of the sacrifices that they and their families make.  It was easier for me to buy the drinks from a distance than to speak to them in person.  I was really nervous.

I told Brian about it when I got home asking him if he thought that was dumb or if he would've appreciated it when he was called up.  He said it was a good thing to do.  I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, but rather to say that I believe little acts of appreciation and kindness can mean a lot.  Maybe you think there's nothing you can do that would matter, but you'd be wrong. Some people put flags on graves.  Some people put their hand over their hearts when the National Anthem is sung.  (Some people actually know all the words and sing out loud on the high notes!) I've even seen short notes of thanks passed on Facebook in the last couple of days.

On Memorial Day, we are given a day off to honor and remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms.  People like sweet Andy.  I hope Brian and I will leave a legacy to our children about honoring, even in the smallest ways, those who serve right now -- today -- the ones who don't get off their job on Memorial Day because they are protecting my family in this moment in time. Maybe you have some good ideas about how to do that.  I'd love for you to share.

In the meantime, for whoever is reading this and has served our country, I invite you to come over for a glass of tea on us!


1 comment:

  1. It's our tradition to take a road trip on Memorial Day to historical/military-related sites. We spent yesterday visiting the museum and memorials at Fort Campbell. Last year, we went to the Civil War battlefield in Perryville, KY.

    We want Maddie and Jacob to know that there is great honor and sacrifice in military service. We want them to understand that the luxury of freedom is not free, but has come at tremendous cost. We also want them to appreciate those who willingly and selflessly (there are no riches or fame in it) take on the enormous task of protecting America for millions they'll never know.

    I hope we're able to show our support of their service in some small way.