Today I attended UCO’s Veterans Day Service in honor of the men and women that have fought and continue to fight in our armed forces. As I stood next to my boyfriend and the assembled war heros, families, and friends, the UCO band begun to play the national anthem. I raised my hand to my heart, something I hadn’t done in a long time, and paid my silent respect to our nation. In those solemn moments I reflected on what that flag, waving in the Oklahoma wind, meant to these men and women; what it meant to me.
I looked into my heart and felt the lack of pride in my country, but discovered a reformation of pride standing beside these service men. They fought, risking their lives for beliefs, that although this nation doesn’t always reflect, are what this nation represents. They did not fight for the sake of fighting, they fought because there was injustice, a people or persons that needed their rights defended. They weren’t defending just American rights, but foreigner’s rights as well, human rights. They believed that everyone deserved those human rights, whatever nationality. A belief that struck me profoundly.
At the conclusion of the ceremony we were asked to stand once more as the brass quartet played Taps. The wind chased clouds across the Oklahoma sky as melancholy notes drifted through the gathering. We all pondered on the brave soldiers, those living and those deceased, and felt the severity of their sacrifices.
Today I hope you have taken the opportunity to thank the service men and women in your life. Let them now how proud you are and give back to them in whatever way you can.