Freedom fighters today...veterans tomorrow.
Freedom fighters today…veterans tomorrow.

A Month For Remembering and Being Thankful
November has two important holidays: Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day.
The sacrifices that have been made by both our military and their families and by the nation as a whole are legendary. Ask any parent who has lost a son or a daughter to violent hostilities between nations and you will get a feel for what war can render and for the ultimate sacrifices that have been made in the name of freedom. Ask a wife or husband whose spouse was killed in war what their life was like from that point on. No more birthdays, or anniversaries of joy, or Thanksgiving Days, or Christmas seasons of exchanging gifts.
For those survivors, life would never be the same. For them, Memorial Day is a special time for it is that day that we, as a nation, remember. Veterans Day is for the living, and for the now deceased who never fought in a war but lived out whatever life they were given with the knowledge that they wore their uniform with pride. Veterans Day is for those who put on a uniform and did whatever their country asked. For some, it was as as a cook, or a maintenance person, or a tank driver, pilot or a combat survivor. There are thousands of jobs in the military and all are filled by every day American men and women; all of whom became veterans as soon as they were discharged. And there is your reason for Veterans Day.
For the average American, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. There will be feasts, football and shopping. Many will take a moment to utter a few thoughts about being thankful for each other, their homes, their jobs, their friends, and their families and the like, as part of their Thanksgiving Day ritual. After filling their stomachs with turkey and all the trimmings, most of us will sit back and glare at a TV screen, with beer in hand, rooting on our favorite football team.
Just as many, if not more of us, will go shopping or to a movie and enjoy the day that was set aside for us to give thanks. Church will be important for some, while others will utter a quick thanks under their breath as they hit Pinterest or Facebook or whatever electronic game that tickles their fancy at that moment.
There is nothing wrong with this scenario. However, Veterans Day is a special day too. Were it not for the strength and bravery of every man or woman who ever wore a military uniform and for the character of love of those waiting at home for their “heroes” to return, we would not be free to live where we want, eat what we choose, work and play in peace and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
This author would love to see a concerted effort to make this Veterans Day the day that gets us all motivated to do more than just pay lip service to our veterans. So, this November 11th, you are invited to join with Calumet Park Cemetery in remembering all of our veterans. At 10:00 a.m., Pat O’Donnell from WJOB radio will act as Master of Ceremonies for Calumet Park’s first Veterans Day Remembrance Celebration.
We all saw the crowds for the Chicago little league World Series runner-up team a while back. The kids almost won the big game and that was fun and important but pales in comparison with what our men and women in uniform have contributed to this great nation. This special veterans day event is your opportunity to come out in support of those who made this country great. Body counts are a big part of war, and a big part of any local or national event. How many showed up for the Chicago marathon? For Taste of Chicago? For the school play or Friday night’s big football game?
So, my hope is that you will rally your friends and neighbors and get them to join with your friends at Calumet Park for our local tribute to veterans. Call 769-8803 for info and directions. See you there!