Veterans and the Eleventh Hour

I don’t know if it was just me, but this year the country seemed to be incredibly thankful on Veteran’s Day.  Social networking sites were flooded with posts, re-posts, and personal thanks.  Media coverage appeared higher than usual, and even The Washington Post included a front page article, Unbroken Spirit, about a brave young quadruple amputee veteran.  My words can’t do justice to this hero.  If you read the article, I think you’ll see what I mean.

I received numerous e-mails from friends and relatives yesterday, including the following:

“A Time to pause, a Time to grieve, a Time to remember, a Time to honor, a Time to be proud to be an American.  Thank you both for your service to us all.  Our best wishes for a thoughtful day for all who have served our country.”

Lovely, pensive words…from two people I have never even met.  Well, at least not in person.  Alma Permar is my friend’s mother, and just released her first book, Written in the Margins:  Poems Touching the Essence of Life.  Alma and I have been corresponding via e-mail regarding the writing business and have become virtual friends.  But the fact that she and her husband took the time, in the same week her book and web site were released — just to say “thanks” to two veterans she’d never met — truly touched me.

Veterans Day, formerly “Armistice Day,” was established on November 11th in recognition of World War I ending on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.   According to Wikipedia, “The eleventh hour is a colloquial expression meaning ‘a time which is nearly too late’”.   My optimism leads me to believe that perhaps people no longer want to wait until the eleventh hour to say “thanks.”  I don’t.  Thank you, veterans, and thank all of you who have taken the time to recognize them.

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