Being in a bagpipe band has rather unexpected perks from time to time.
Last year, I was honored to play at a small function held to celebrate the small group of remaining Veterans here in Idaho, who served in WWII. At a point during our performance, we set down our things and walked slowly across the row of honored guests to say a simple thank you. It’s just impossible to imagine the things our Veterans have seen, and all they left behind in battle. As a few of us were packing our instruments into our cars one of the gentlemen came outside assisted by his son and engaged us in a small conversation. Some of the band members were very knowledgeable about the war, and had great questions for the man. He answered as best as his memory would let him. It was nice to just soak in. I stood and listened, and as I watched this man talk a little about his life and friends I think it made him happy. Not in the sense of the subject matter, but that people were interested in him and really listening. I’ll bet that doesn’t happen often enough.
I saw a similar story recently. A young man talking with a much older war vet who said it doesn’t bother him to talk about the friends, the brothers, that he lost, it bothers him that no one really asks about it anymore.
Take some time to remember why we have this freedom we share, and if you find yourself with the chance, talk to those (if only to say thank you) who helped to give you that freedom.
Thanks to those who fight and those who lost their lives to give us what we take for granted so very often.