Sunday, November 11, 2007


In the USA today of course is a national holiday marking Veterans Day while Canada celebrates the same holiday as Remembrance Day. This holiday is set aside for all of us to pause to give a prayer of thanks for the military veterans who served and died in service to their country while safeguarding our freedoms. Personally I have never served in any capacity in the US Armed Forces and at my age if I am called up to serve then we are truly in trouble but thankfully today's wars have become isolated affairs watched, and sadly manipulated in many cases, from afar. Perhaps that is the most consistent aspect of "history" -- the dates and names change but the script reads the same across the generations.

As a lover of liberty and the American way of life let me offer my sincere and heartfelt "thank you" to the men and women (whether gay or straight) who serve or have served in our military. I will never forget my grandfather's World War II stories of his time stationed in London. My grandfather's job was loading the bombers for their missions to Continental Europe including D-Day. The one story that I will never forget is my grandfather's description of his travel to and from London for the war which I paraphrase below:

"At the beginning of the war we were shipped over from the East Coast to London on board the Queen Mary in the middle of a storm and I was sea sick the entire trip. As the war was ending I was recovering from surgery so I was shipped back home on board the Queen Mary again, but this time the sea was very calm."
John Petersen, US Army
As a lover of literature I love the symbolism in my grandfather's trips aboard the Queen Mary - stormy sea at the onset of war and calm waters as the war ended - if only I had had the forethought to capture my grandfather's war experience in a systematic way it could have provided the material needed for a short book for our family to enjoy.
Sadly my grandfather did not live long enough to see me marry the woman that I love -- yea, I got married instead of buying a red sports car in my mid-life :-) -- but as it worked out my wife and I married on Veterans Day (November 11) so this holiday has double special meaning to me each year.
May my grandfather rest in peace and may all couples experience calm seas,

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