|Iwo Jima Momument, Marine Corps Base Quantico|
On Veterans Day in the United States, there are numerous ways people choose to honor and remember the veterans who have served in the military of our country. Parades. Flag lined streets. School assembly programs. Special gestures extended to today's veterans.
Blogging also provides additional ways for many of us to remember and honor our military ancestors. During the past year, I had four such posts, each written for a different reason.
A recent visit to the Resaca Confederate Cemetery in Georgia reminded me of the sacrifices made by many unknown soldiers who fought of both sides during the Civil War. The story of how this cemetery came to be is also the story of how one person can make a difference in keeping individuals and events from fading from our memory.
It was exciting to look into the life of the young Revolutionary War spy, John Howard, while trying to verify a family story. Learning that a 15-year old was a real spy might just be the hook to grab the attention of some of the younger members of our family and help them see history through the life of a relative.
I still find myself thinking about the life of a Confederate soldier and relative, Samuel G Slade. Learning more about his military service, his injuries, and his later life was a reminder that there are too frequently personal battles fought long after the war is over. Today's headlines about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or long waits for veterans to receive proper medical care were foreshadowed by what Samuel Slade and countless others went through in their day.
My fourth post concerned one of the Camp Family Letters housed in the Manuscript and Rare Book Library of Emory University near Atlanta, Georgia. The letter of Thomas Camp to his wife is one more reminder that our veterans are also someone's spouse, parent,sibling, or child. Our veterans are not only soldiers, they may also be part of our family. They are our friends and our neighbors.
To all of veterans today, thank you for your service to our country. For our ancestors who served, we will remember your actions, your efforts, and your place in our country's history.