The Adventure of Writing a Book, Part 37

Veteran’s Day 2019

As a child of Finnish immigrants, I love all our Patriotic Holidays: July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and the rest. This country is soooo special to me, unlike any other place in the world.

Here in America, we can say what we want, befriend who we want, attend religious services or not, work and live where we want, and with whom we want.

Plus, we vote for our leaders and put our trust in them to govern wisely. Amazing!

My parents came to America in the middle of the Great Depression. There was no welfare or free food or medical care. They made their own way through hard work and perseverance. My father became a citizen early on because he had a college degree and knew English. During World War II, he was exempted from military service because he was performing an essential job: welding Liberty Ships in Baltimore Harbor. My mother said he worked double and triple shifts.

My mother was a farmer’s daughter and had only an 8th grade education, so obtaining her citizenship took a little more time. She was determined to do it and when we were living in Cecil County, Maryland, she took courses. I helped her study and finally when I was in 5th grade, she passed the exam.

I remember coming home from school and to find her crying and laughing and holding up the papers. “I’m an American!” she exclaimed over and over again with tears of joy in her eyes.

I had voice lesson early on and did a fair amount of singing at weddings, funerals, church services and the monthly gatherings of the Scandinavian Community by us. The best thing I ever did was sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the University of Maryland Women’s Gymnastics Meets when my daughter was on the team there. It was such an honor and doubly so because of my background.

So today, I praise and honor all of our military who keep us safe by serving here and around the world. They are the essence of our life and enable people like me and you to sleep safe at night.

God Bless Our Veterans! And God Bless the United States of America!

Speak Your Mind