It’s important to teach my boys that the freedom we enjoy in our country is protected by the bravery and service of our armed forces. Without the sacrifice of past and present servicemen and women, our lives would be immeasurably different.
I learned this lesson early.
Each November as a high school student at Culver, a military school founded on the ideals of order and honor, I was required to attend an all-school memorial service for Veterans Day in the chapel. The somber service included hymns and prayers and ended with a reading of every graduate who had served our country.
It’s a long list. Culver graduates from the last one hundred years have served in every branch of our military and in every major war.
From the chapel, we walked in silence to the Memorial Legion. Boys in military dress presented arms. Girls wrapped in shin length camelhair coats huddled together against the cold. More words were spoken.
In the chilly Indiana air, we listed as 21 shots rang across Lake Maxinkuckee. The echo of the blasts filled us with reverence.
We understood. These men and women did important work. They sacrificed for us.
I can confidently say my Culver friends stop and pause on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It’s ingrained in us.
As I sit in a filled auditorium of the boys’ school at a ceremony to honor our veterans, I’m filled with a sense of hope. Girls and boys sit attentively listening. They stand together as a school and sing the National Anthem. They show respect to our soldiers.
Signs and posters decorate the halls welcoming and thanking. This is F’s. He wants you to see it.
They understand. And are thankful.