My Memorial Day Tradition…

Today, I welcomed home a hero…actually a lot more than just one.

It goes along with my Attitude of Gratitude.  Today I went to the airport to welcome home the flight of soldiers making their way through DFW to two weeks of R & R with their families.  There were a few families there today to meet their returning soldiers; for the most part the soldiers were just passing through on their way to their final destination.

They had to have felt like rock stars when they exited through the terminal and there were literally 100’s of people dressed in red, white and blue awaiting their arrival.  There were signs, people of all ages, boy scouts, girl scouts, veterans and people like me who were just there to show their support and to say thank you.

When I did this last year, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  Dallas is a big city, but I had that small town *home town feeling” as my friend Maria used to call it.  When they started chanting”U-S-A” I lost it and could no longer fight back the tears.

For most of my life on Memorial Day I was at a parade, in a parade or at a cemetery commemorating the holiday.  I think on my the proudest moments for my father was the year I graduated from high school and I read Flanders Fields at the Memorial Day service.  Both of my parents took great pride in this country, and were very patriotic.

I still think that it is important to pay tribute to those that have passed on and either lost their life in battle, or ended their life peacefully many years after the wars and the demons.  I grew up watching photos of the war in Viet Nam.  I saw the coffins on the news, and heard a lot of horrible stories of the war.  I remember those that returned who were treated poorly…even spit on. 

But better than putting flags in the ground at a cemetery, or jumping at a 21 gun salute, or the lone bugler playing taps, it was nice today to applaud, and smile and say thank you to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan today.  Some had a dazed look on their faces, some were taking pictures and videos of us, and some were smiling back at us just as big as we were smiling at them.

A flight comes into the DFW airport everyday.  The crowd today was three times the crowd that I saw last year…I’ve made myself a promise not to wait a year to do this again.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet a troop flight, put on your red, white and blue, cheer, wave a flag and be very proud to be an American.

….today for me was a very proud moment.  I wasn’t just proud of the soldiers.  I was proud of the people that made the time to spend 2 hours at the airport today…being Americans.

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