I know what Veteran’s Day means to me and I have shared this sentiment over the years in articles every year. As we commemorate the sacrifices our countrymen (and women) made during this Centennial of WWI – the war to end all wars – let us take a moment to reflect on ALL VETERANS – Living and deceased. I will be walking in the Veteran’s Day parade this year helping to remember the service and sacrifice of our Civil War veterans and all veterans – LEST WE FORGET.
This Veteran’s Day let us make a concerted effort to remember those who served in America’s Armed Forces. Our community dedicated a new monument just this past June to do just that every day. How many of you walk or drive by the park and acknowledge that monument and what it stands for? Please take a moment this Veteran’s Day to walk over to the park, take a look at the monument, read it, salute the flag and take a moment to say “thank you.” Then put these sentiments to action.
Just to remind you what the monument says:
THIS MONUMENT STANDS IN VETERAN’S PARK AS A TESTAMENT TO THE SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM INHERENT IN ALL THE COURAGEOUS MEN AND WOMEN OF THE COLLINWOOD AND NOTTINGHAM COMMUNITIES OF THE CITY OF CLEVELAND FROM OUR FOUNDERS IN 1796 TO TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE –
WHO, ALTHOUGH SEPARATED BY THE GENERATIONS VOLUNTEERED TO BOLDLY DEFEND AND VALIANTLY PRESERVE OUR NATION’S LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS.
WE WILL FOREVER REMEMBER THEIR HEROISM, SERVICE AND SACRIFICE
“LEST WE FORGET”
I leave you with a “prayer” attributed to Father Denis O’Brien, USMC Chaplain (a WWII Vet who died in 2002) which we used, adapted and added onto at the monument dedication ceremony in June. Let us not forget our veterans.
What is a veteran?
A Veteran is one who served in America’s Armed Forces to defend our freedoms and,
like the knights of old, fight for those who cannot.
Some veterans bear visible scars, others carry their scars inside them
and others bear an inner steel who’s soul was forged from adversity.
Veterans are known by how they carry themselves.
A veteran can be the veteran police officer we know who spent his Tour of Duty in Vietnam
or more recently in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Iraq. Or, the community activist who spent his days right out of high school in the fields of Vietnam.
A veteran could be the woman sitting next to you who might have been one of more than
100,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC’s), a member of the Women’s Air force Service Patrol (WASP’s), or a Rosy the Riveter during WWII,
a nurse in Korea or Da Nang, or a soldier in Iraq.
A veteran is the POW who went away one person and came back another –
- or didn’t come back at all.
He is the elderly gentleman sitting next to you who helped liberate a Nazi death camp,
- or survived the Normandy Invasion, Pearl Harbor or the trenches, who parachuted into enemy territory or flew over the enemy targeting and being the target.
The Veteran is sometimes Unknown - like those who sleep in the Tomb of the Unknowns
at Arlington Cemetery who also represent to the nation all those other unknown
heroes whose valor is known to God alone from the Battlefield or the Ocean deep.
The Veteran is an ordinary yet extraordinary human being – a person who offered their life
in the service of our country and sacrificed in many ways that others may live.
A Veteran may be a recipient of the Purple Heart - a WOUNDED WARRIOR – sometimes
unknown and at other times painfully obvious; their lives altered by their injuries.
The Veteran is the soldier and the sailor; the sword against the darkness, highly skilled
and highly motivated. Our role models.
So remember each time you see someone who served our country – say THANK YOU.
To a veteran – this means more than all the medals in the world.
Remember, that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has guaranteed the freedom of the press; it is the soldier, not the poet, who has guaranteed us the freedom of speech; it is the soldier that fought so that we have the freedom to demonstrate; and, it is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, who has earned the right to have his coffin draped by the flag, who guaranteed our rights under the flag.
THANK YOU TO ALL VETERANS.
Mary Louise Jesek Daley
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.