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Student pledging to the flag, 1899.

Image via Wikipedia

As someone that flies a flag out in front of the house 365 days a year and says the Pledge of Allegiance every day in class, I consider myself fairly patriotic. My father was a B-24 pilot in WWII. I used to play with his flight jacket,hat and flight goggles. I think I’m the one that broke the goggles. Dad wasn’t very sentimental about those things. I’m sure he knew that we played with his things but I never remember him saying anything about it. Since Dad passed away last year my sister took his jacket and medals and had them framed for the oldest grandson. I guess we’re all a lot more sentimental about Dad’s things now that he’s gone.

Dad’s war claim to fame was being shot down over Yugoslavia. He landed without killing anyone and was able to give some weapons to Tito’s soldiers fighting the Nazi’s. He was supposed to make sure everything was destroyed but after they destroyed the bomb site he thought it would make no sense for them not to help out the local fighters who would also be helping them avoid capture. Dad didn’t talk much about this until just a few years ago. Either I didn’t ask the right questions or he really didn’t want to talk about it.

I wholeheartedly thank all those that have fought and are fighting for us throughout the world. I can only imagine what fighting a war is like. I don’t have much confidence that I could have done what they have done. I’d like to think I could fight and would fight if the United States was threatened. I can’t imagine the terror of walking down a street in Saigon or Baghdad in uniform when you aren’t sure who is friendly or the enemy and you can’t see whose looking at you from inside or on top of buildings. What our soldiers do for us to me is just amazing. They are all truly brave.

For all that have lost their lives for our freedom, this holiday weekend is for their honor.I know I have what I have because of your sacrifice. Our debt to you is immeasurable.