Today as I walked the 10 or so minutes up to H&M to return a pair of tights (bad investment) and buy some hooks to go inside my armoire (good investment), I noticed approximately 50-60 people of various ages in military uniforms. I'm just down the block from a recruitment office so I didn't think anything of it and just continued on my way.
On the way back, hooks in hand, I noticed an inordinate amount of police officers everywhere. Why were they blocking off the streets? Was that a...band I hear? Why are there even MORE people in uniform???
"Nanny," my dear roomie said to me with a large, exasperated sigh, "it's Veteran's Day. We're OUT OF SCHOOL for a reason. Duh."
A parade started up right as we were entering our dorm room. It was still going strong 5 minutes later as I came back outside to head to the library. On the way, I stopped and watched the parade for a few minutes.
Hundreds and hundreds of veterans, marching bands, and young cadets (is that the right word?) marched past me. I was brought near to tears as I first looked at the stooped over, tired old men imagining what they had been through in their lives. And then the tears started falling as I then watched the younger ones, just kids, really--my age, by the looks of it--in uniforms walking solemnly by. The image of their faces haunted me as I finally continued to the library. For several minutes I couldn't help but repeat in my mind how lucky I was, and how grateful I was.
I'm sad that people think that just because I'm anti-war I'm also anti-soldier. This couldn't be further from the truth. As I touched upon in the comments of this post, I strongly support our troops. I so appreciate the huge sacrifices that each one is making for our country--leaving behind loved ones, jobs, school, etc. I am so grateful for what they are willing to do for us.
Tonight, on Veteran's Day, I think about the old and young faces I saw today in the parade. Those who have already fought and those who (hopefully) will never have to.