Monday, October 11, 2010
October 11—“All Gave Some and Some Gave All”
Today was a driving day from Eindhoven, Netherlands to Stuttgart, Germany. It was a seven hour drive so I had a lot of time to reflect on the trip. To me, the most important thing I have learned so far is that our veterans do not get the respect they deserve in the United States.
The people of the European Union honor our veterans, and all veterans, as their saviors. These men, many of whom were younger than I am today, left their homes and families and accepted the call of duty, liberating hundreds of European cities. With this responsibility they saw their friends, brothers, and comrades killed. They dealt with not only death, but harsh conditions.
When one visits WWII battle sites, it is impossible to miss how the Europeans place our veterans on a pedestal. For dinner one night, our veterans decided to eat in our hotel. Complete strangers paid for their meals as a small token of their appreciation. It saddened me to see this because I know this rarely happens in the United States. I don’t think it is because we are rude or insensitive; I just think most Americans take our freedom for granted because we were never occupied by the Germans.
As Americans, we should treat our veterans as heroes. Without them and their dedicated service, our history would be very different. What have I learned so far? It is important to remember that “All gave some and some gave all” for the freedom that we enjoy today.