Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Memory and Remembrance

"One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society … shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

After I wrote this morning’s post on Veterans Day, I remembered something that I did several years ago. My son was a boy scout, My Dad, my brother were both Eagle scouts. To get my son motivated to continue scouting I decided to become a volunteer with his troop. I was working on an upcoming court of honor for the boys, it was around this time of year and we had a meager number of awards to present. So I did some reseach and discovered one of the boys Dad was a Veteran. We decided to do a veterans Tribute during our Court of Honor and asked the Dad if he would like to speak after the tribute. He accepted. All was going well during this Court of Honor, we played patriotic music and had all Veterans, including grandparents, family members, saluted by the boys and everyone attending. At this time the father came up to speak. He started thanking everyone for this honor, talked a bit about his experiences and broke down. He said this was the first time EVER he had been honored for being a veteran. As a Vietnam veteran, there were no parades, no prayer vigils, no yellow ribbons for these troops who were drafted into this unpopular war. He had never even been thanked for his service to this country until this day. What an eye opener for these boys! It made a huge impression on them and everyone sitting in the audience. To this day, I remember this man, and what our simple little tribute meant to him, and to all of us. It touched my heart more than any award I have ever won, I feel that this was one of my proudest moment, to bring tribute to someone who had never been thanked, or even acknowledged for his contribution. I received a wonderful thank you note from him a few weeks later, it was simple but sincere. I think my little tribute made a difference to one man. And that was enough.

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