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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014

How to thank a veteran:
Rather than writing off the decision to serve with a sterile “Thank you for your service” this year, own the sentiment and make it personal.

Thank a veteran that you knew you would be present for the birth of all your children.

Thank a veteran that you have pursued your educational goals safely and uninterrupted.

Thank a veteran that you can sit home nights and write.

Thank a veteran that you have pursued a successful professional career and are living the high life.

Thank a veteran that you have the security to be a stay-at-home parent.

Thank a veteran that you have chosen to make your home close to or far from your family, close to the ocean or deep in the mountain… but you are able to choose it.

Thank a veteran that you were able to attend every one of your child’s sporting events, music recitals, spelling bees, and parent-teacher conferences.

Thank a veteran that your loved ones come home predictably every day.

Thank a veteran that you have your weekends free.

Thank a veteran that you pursued your passion as an actor, professional athlete, model, musician, etc.


  1. IMO, There is no such thing as a sterile "Thank you". There is, however, sterility in avoidance.

    1. Thersites,
      I think that there can be sterile "Thank you." For one thing, the gesture can be insincere. I've seen that for myself -- the mouthing of words without meaning them.

      You know one way to honor veterans? Meet and greet an Honor Flight when it arrives at the airport. Some of my students have been doing that this year as part of an essay contact in which my students are participating this year. A moving experience for all.

    2. This. "Meet and greet an Honor Flight when it arrives at the airport."

      This is an excellent suggestion. I would also recommend [as I'm in this situation], go talk with a Veteran at a senior citizen center or home, especially one who has no family...or none visiting them that day.

      While the narrative of protecting our freedoms is philosophical writ large, every Veteran signed their name and raised their hand knowing that they could be expected to give the last full measure....and should be honored accordingly.

      Most Vets [if I can speak for most] understand that people are trying to be polite when thinking someone for their service, but it makes many of us feel uncomfortable. Personal and meaningful gestures are the way to go.

    3. I disagree. If people wanted to be "sterile", they would ignore Veterans completely and walk past them. Saying' Thank you for your Service" allows you to acknowledge a Veteran w/o any "awkward" pauses and explanations. Most people are, after all, initiating a conversation with a total and complete stranger. And I, for one, am a lot more comfortable sticking to a script, than trying to improvise a greater social context.

    4. In other words, not all of us are extroverts. You'll either get the "script", or you'll get nothing from us. And believe me when I say, getting the script from an introvert is worth a thousand worshipful kisses from a social butterfly.

  2. "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

    ~ George Orwell

    Truer words we never written, and may God forever bless those men. I'd prefer to call them BRAVE and TOUGH rather than rough, but Orwell certainly had the right idea.

    ~ FreeThinke (who is now locked out of his blogger identity)

    1. Misquoted. Commonly attributed to Orwell but he never said it.

    2. In his 1945 "Notes on Nationalism", Orwell wrote that it was "grossly obvious" that "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf

      Even better.

    3. Indeed ...

      I list below five types of nationalist, and against each I append a fact which it is impossible for that type of nationalist to accept, even in his secret thoughts:

      PACIFIST. Those who “abjure” violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.

    4. FYI: I typed "rough men doing violence on our behalf" into Google and came up with the version quoted. Orwell was given as the author. The information comes from "Brainy Quotes" I believe. What is your source Canardo other than your feverish determination to spoil legitimate conversation and dissolve meaningful discourse by dwelling on irrelevant sidelights? And what does it matter who said it anyway? Its importance lies in the profound truth it contains and its having been said and widely published.

      Maybe it was Molly Goldberg or Omar Khayam who said it first. Who cares?

    5. No, Pacifist's are really yellow bellied fags who hate this country!

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  4. Everyday is Veteran's Day for me.
    At Home Depot, the diner, etc.
    It's easy to tell, and thank, who served.

  5. Luisa Gray Palkot said

    "Thank you for your service" is as insipid as it is formulaic.


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