Here in the US, today is Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in the UK and Canada), where we, as a nation, honor the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewomen and Veterans. Every year, on this day, I have made it my habit to go to the house of every Veteran I know in my neighborhood, to shake their hand, with, “I just wanted to come by to thank you for your service.”
Most seemed surprised, at first, but eventually came to expect my yearly visits, and generally received me with gracious magnanimity. Some just took my handshake on board, and said, “You’re welcome.” No biggie, or so, by their demeanor, they seemed to say.
One man, (my ‘nemisis’) a Veteran of the ‘Korean Conflict’, who just passed away in September, always gave me a disconcerting look, and pulled my hand to himself in a tight grip and peering rheumily, if steadily, into my eyes, with, “No problemo,” and grinning, maniacally.
Needless to say, this day has long meant, and continues to mean a great deal to me, personally. So.
It is fitting, I feel, in fact, conscience demands it, upon recalling the statement of our president-elect, regarding the service (and captivity as a POW) of Senator John McCain*, “He’s not a war hero,” (said Trump.) “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” (http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/trump-attacks-mccain-i-like-people-who-werent-captured-120317) to every man and woman who gave their all in our time of need, a reiteration of the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation, is humbly bestowed…and also, which is, I feel, owed: an apology.
Thank you. I’m sorry. (It’s little enough, but I hope that’s okay.)
~ Tim Burchfield
*(John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona and was the Republican presidential nominee for the 2008 United States presidential election.