Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soldiers and Other Unknowns

Day 3 of 365

It’s that time of year when I take all of my wonderful, light, airy, cool, clothes and remove them from my closets and drawers and lovingly place them in their air tight plastic containers and dry cleaning bags and put them in the basement until the sun shines warm again.

By the same token I take all of my warm, soft, cuddly, clothes and rescue them from their dark place and put them in my closets and drawers to be loved and used to protect me from the cold sunless days ahead.

Kind of a changing of the guard, I think.  A sad time but a comforting time.

I’m sad to see the warm days of summer disappear, but I glad to know that I will be safe and warm until they return again.

Maybe it’s because we have just celebrated Veterans Day, but this activity turned my memory to the time I stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA. and watched the ceremony of that Changing of the Guard. It was an eerie experience.  Everyone there was speaking in whispers. 

It was a  cool, sunny, fall day, with a light breeze blowing.  We, Guy and I, stood and waited for the change that happens hourly.  When the responsibility of guarding the bones and memories of our dead and missing are passed off to the next soldier. 

It is considered one of the highest honors to serve as a ceremonial guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
At this site one unidentified soldier for W.W.I, W.W.II, and the Korean War are interred.  After the identification and removal of the soldier interred from the Vietnam War, thanks to DNA testing improvements, the following statement was added to the empty crypt:

"Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen."

As a reminder of the commitment of the Armed Forces to the fullest possible accounting of missing service members.

I’m not sure of what the afterlife will bring, or if there is a way that all of those who fought for our country and have never come home can see us.  If they can, I hope that they feel warmed and protected by the men that are assigned to guard their memory.

The ceremony was beautiful and awe inspiring.  I would have to say it was one of the times that I have felt the most proud of us as a country. 

We have chosen to take care of those who have no voice of there own, no way to tell us who they are and what they stood for.  It is a way of thinking that we have, we citizens of the USA.  We want to take care of those who have no voice, it is our nature as a country, as humans.

I am grateful to these unknowns.  In reality they are all unknowns.  With the exception of a very few people who I have met that have served, or are serving in our country’s military, all of the soldiers are unknown to me.  I may be able to find their name, and see a picture of them, but I don’t know them at all.

What makes a person decide that they want to put their life on the line for the masses?  People they don’t know, will never know. People, or a person, like me.  It is a completely selfless thing to do.  Why would someone do that, for me?

I think that there are a lot of people out there that do selfless things every day, for others...for me.  I’ve just never taken the time to notice them, or what they do.

That is the 3rd Tiny Change I will make.  I will notice and be grateful for the selfless things others do for me.  I will make at least one person each day aware that I am grateful to them, by thanking them for being...them!

Tiny Change 3:  Each day, I will write a thank you note, to mail or give, to someone, letting them know I am grateful to them for being who they are and doing what they do.

If you would like to join me in my endeavor, I would be grateful to you, too.  Just think what a better world it might be if we all knew we mattered to someone, anyone, even a stranger.

Best Regards,