Thank you for our freedom
Nov. 10, 2010 at 5:10 a.m.
By Elaine Wheat
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend."
Thursday was Veterans Day, and because of the lives the veterans gave, I was free to go to the coast to fish. I fished from the lawn chair that friends had given me, used live bait that the ocean had freely given up to my cast net that I had gotten for Christmas, put the bait on the rod and reel my sons had freely given to me on Mother's Day and was in the process of getting a free fish lunch when I realized that I didn't feel a bit guilty for not celebrating Veterans Day in the traditional ways of flag waving and hearing speeches.
Theodore Roosevelt had first proclaimed Nov. 11 as "Veterans Day," the day to remember those who gave their lives for their friends and country. Knowing what I have learned about "Teddy," I am sure that he gave one of his big, long, flag-waving speeches in front of some cement building in Washington, D.C.
But I, President of Nothing, claim Veterans Day should be celebrated from a free public beach, waving a rod and reel and taking off my fish hat when I bow my head and thank those veterans who really knew beaches and had left their names written there in the blood of themselves or others.
I pictured Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Bataan, Normandy on D-Day and other beaches soaked red, just during the time of my memory. I dated boys who had met beaches and never left them in Korea and taught boys whose last homes were beaches in Vietnam. Even since then, there have been too many beaches left stained by those I thank for being willing to give freely for all so that I can fish from my free beach
Dear Lord. As I freely fished this Veterans Day, was it salt spray or tears that stained my beach a deeper color? Please, Lord, thank the veterans You have there with You, and tell them it is from us.