Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Grateful Nation ...

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

My buddies at the VFW center talk a lot about WWII, even though most of them fought in Viet Nam. One veteran told me it was because he felt it was the war that actually meant something.


 field of stars at the national WWII memorial


During Viet Nam I did volunteer work for  Viet Nam Veterans Against War.  I was very young and it was both exciting and humbling to meet soldiers who had returned from the war. The war was also the beginning of my awareness of a larger world around me. It was the catalyst for my interest and involvement in politics and for my decision to never remain silent about things I felt needed changing.

"the wall" - at the Vietnam Memorial in DC

The brightest news this Veteran's Day is that the soldiers in Iraq will be home at the end of the year. Yet they come home to an economy that is the worst in decades and to already poor services that will continue to be cut. These men and women and their families should be met with jobs and healthcare and housing.


women's war memorial in DC, right next to the Viet Nam Memorial

Iraq Veterans Against War  is working to do just that. Of all the veteran groups I researched they are the only one clearly offering services to all veterans including women and soldiers from the LGBT community.



Military families can turn to Military Families Speaking Out for support.

At a time when a war veteran can be beaten by police at a peaceful demonstration (Occupy Oakland) I hope we all rise to the challenge of putting our actions where our flag waving is.

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky


20 comments:

DJan said...

This is a very moving post, Diane. Today is the birthday of my own son who died while serving in the Army. He didn't die in combat but of a heart attack at the age of 40. These pictures, especially the last one, hit me hard.

Daryl said...

that shot is as iconic as the one from Penn State .. sad .. so sad

Ivanhoe said...

All troops coming home would really make me happy. Too bad I'm already hearing about attacking Iran. This will never end.... Beautiful post, Di!

Akelamalu said...

War is senseless but we should always remember those who put their lives on the line for us.

Nice post Dianne.

Ron said...

Beautifully touching post, Dianne!

"The war was also the beginning of my awareness of a larger world around me. It was the catalyst for my interest and involvement in politics and for my decision to never remain silent about things I felt needed changing."

You GO, dear lady. I admire you for speaking out.

That last photo ripped my heart out.

Thank you so much for sharing this post.

X ya bunches!

nitebyrd said...

Great post, Dianne. Remembering my friends brother who came home from Viet Nam, he was spit on and sworn at leaving the airport. Even though most wars are wrong, the soldiers aren't.

Sylvia K said...

A terrific post, Dianne, and I do so agree with everything you've written! I also agree with nitebyrd that although most wars are wrong, the soldiers aren't!! It seems the news gets sadder and more disgusting by the day and all one can do is wonder -- where and when does it end????

Sylvia

Jeni said...

I think you know me well enough by now to know too that I am in complete agreement with your words in this post today. Last night, I watched a program on the History Channel about Vietnam that utilized all types of videos from that era -news videos mixed too with personal home film clips. No wonder, after viewing that piece, that my mind and heart were so jumbled up with anger and sorrow combined as that war was such a travesty from so many angles. Small consolation that our soldiers today will at least not return home only to have protestors spit on them or curse them but rather to recognize them for their work, for serving their country honorably as did the Vietnam vets too.

Hilary said...

Excellent post, Dianne. Your Veteran's Day.. our Remembrance Day .. only a small part of our awareness and respect for our hereos. That last photo is just so heart-wrenching.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Beautifully said, my dear Dianne...And Very Touching Photo's to illustrate your points....!
That last photo---Well, it breaks your Heart---as it should!
Thank You, my dear dear.....!

ds said...

Thank you for this.

HermanTurnip said...

Excellent post. Being ex-military this brought both smiles and tears. Thank you!

Reb said...

Beautiful post Dianne.

Tabor said...

War will never be gone from us, but let us hope it will be far less and worth far more.

Linda said...

On a good note at least they won't be coming home to a nation that despises them like my Dad did when he returned from Vietnam.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

A wonderful tribute post and more meaningful than the many I saw that were mere platitudes =-- you have walked the walk and see all sides of the picture. I do agree with the commentor above who said that it is good that as a country it seems that now as a nation we do honor the returning vets themselves now (as you always did). (Even if we don't agree with the war,)

Imaginography said...

Very well said. I just love the quotes you start and finish your post with - so true!

Sorry I haven't been around much. I've missed your posts. Life has been getting in the way of late though (work, studying for assessment centres for promotion, photography, new puppy, and the usual stuff), so something had to give (well several somethings actually)! I'm hoping to visit more often again now though :) BK

Debbie said...

powerful photo's....a beautiful post!!

Rambling Woods said...

It's true..there are no unwounded soldiers or families that don't suffer...I feel sometimes like we learned nothing from Viet Nam...

christopher said...

Well said...and a lot to think about.