I posted these remarks on another forum, and they're appropriate here as well as we remember the sacrifices of our veterans:
Ten years ago I arrived at Atlanta’s Hartsfield InternationalAirport for a flight home. I got therevery early, and found a vacant gate to sit and wait. Soon, an older gentlemanarrived and took a seat near me. Being my usual friendly self, I said “hello”and asked him where he was coming from and going to. I’ll never forget hisresponse, which was, “Hawaii, a sad place, a very sad place.” I sure didn’texpect to hear that about Hawaii. Then I looked closely at his legion cap, andstitched on it was “Pearl Harbor Survivors Association” and, oh wow, “U.S.S.Arizona.”
I was thunderstruck, completely frozen. What those eyes had seenand those ears had heard. I still can’t think about this without getting chokedup. Looking back, I believe I was sitting next to Don Stratton, one of the fewto make it off the Arizona alive.
My mother grew up in occupied Europe during the war, only to be“liberated” by Soviet troops. Happily, the family got the hell out, and wasadmitted to the USA where, years later, I was born. And I’m here, and we’rehere, because of men like Don Stratton, and countless other veterans whosacrificed that we may be free. THANK YOU EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!