Showing up Monday is a simple way to honor those who have served with honor
Published 8:46 am Friday, November 8, 2019
Over the next few weeks, we will have to ‘endure’ a number of holidays, early school dismissals, congested travel schedules, to-do lists and spending an excruciatingly long lunch with a member of our extended family you have worked to avoid for the past year.
But while the Thanksgiving holiday revolves around family and Christmas is centered on the birth of Christ, Veterans Day sticks out as one that while, ‘given its due,’ is in my opinion far too understated.
I am the proud son of a Vietnam veteran and the grandson of two men who were part of ‘the greatest generation’ and served in both World War II and Korea. And, if I were to spend the time to dig into the family tree, I am sure I would find a few others who served with distinction and honor when our country called.
As we approach Veterans Day, there are companies offering discounts or free meals to those who have served and those who continue to serve. There are luncheons held in their honor and events to celebrate their service and their sacrifice.
Monday, a parade will be held in downtown Vicksburg that will feature veterans from our area and military vehicles. But, what I have seen in years past, and unfortunately will likely see again Monday, is a lack of those standing on the sidewalks waving at those who served.
There are those who show up at both the Veterans Day parade in November and the Memorial Day parade in May. There are those who each time show up with a small American flag and salute those who served our country, gave of their time and had colleagues and dear friends who gave of their lives in the defense of our country.
As a community, we come together a few times each year for parades. There are homecoming parades for our schools and during Mardi Gras, revelers crowd downtown for a few beads and throws. And, as a child of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Ala., the birthplace of Mardi Gras, I am in no way dismissing the thrill of a quality Mardi Gras parade such as the one in Vicksburg each year.
But, as a community, we can do better by our veterans by showing up Monday for the parade. Standing in downtown and showing our appreciation for what each man and woman did for our way of life in the sacrifices they made to serve. As a community, we can take a few moments out of a day off from work and school to honor those who served with honor and did so not asking for anything.
Our veterans and active-duty military personnel are among the very best our community and our country has ever produced. They are men and women who did not sign up to serve for the money or the fame, but rather the chance to support and defend a way of life that we have all come to cherish.
When the parade rolls through downtown Vicksburg Monday at 9:30 a.m. my family — especially my children — will be among those standing and saluting. I would hope and pray there are more standing beside us as we take a few moments to show our respect and our appreciation.
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at email@example.com.