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My “day off” begins with assessing the remaining 40 odes in my school bag for effective use of literary devices. It’s not the worst assignment I’ve ever had to grade. And yes, I know that my grading jobs are directly relatable to the assignments I give, but the ones that are the most interesting to grade are usually also the most difficult and time-consuming.

But this day’s not about me — it’s about the men and women who have, either by choice or by force, served the United States and the world.

It’s not about personal politics; I don’t believe that war is the answer, but I believe that members of our military deserve our respect.

As our students were preparing to go on their Washington D.C. trip this weekend, their agendas were different from ours. We showed them youtube videos about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the HBO movie, Taking Chance. We wanted them to go to Washington, D.C. with a personal face in their hormonal brains rather than an amorphous “they” when thinking of our nation’s military. I leave you with a reading of the final journal entry by Lt. Col Michael Strobl that he wrote while escorting a young Marine home for burial. The movie itself is powerful; if you haven’t seen it, I would suggest that you do.

My father was proud to be a veteran — proud of his service to his country and happy to find a place where men could share their experiences with others who understood. Today I honor him and all those who have sacrificed for our country.

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2 thoughts on “11/11/11

  1. Everyone deserves your respect, veterans or non-veterans. Those of us, post WWII veterans who abdicated personal decision making and responsibility for those decisions to politicians to further non-declared presidential military adventures deserve nothing more than any other member of the citizenry. Those who’ve volunteered for that service after the draft ended deserve congratulations for having picked a job they paid higher and was more secure than whatever they’d have been doing if they hadn’t joined the service.

    • I totally agree that people are not respectful of the many types of jobs that make our world run smoothly. Your post about sewage plant workers points out what may not always be obvious; there are a lot of unsung heroes in our society. Thanks for commenting.

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