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In the corner of my fifth grade classroom, there was an old box piano with yellowed keys.  Every other week, we would have a sing-a-long.  One morning, our teacher announced we would be singing a song in honor of a classmate’s brother who was serving in the war.  


The year was 1968.  I didn’t know anything about a war.  At the time, I didn’t know anyone who was serving in the military.  However, even my young 12-year-old mind grasped the gravity from the tone in her voice.  “This song is very, very old,” she said, “but it still applies today.”  It was the Civil War anthem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  Whenever I hear that song, I think of my classmate and wonder how her brother fared.


My uncle Lynn later served and returned safely from Vietnam.  My great-uncle and cousins all returned safely from World War II battles – by air and by sea.  We were, indeed, very blessed.


This, and every, Veteran’s Day, I give my gratitude, appreciation and respect to all have served this country, and others.  Every soldier, regardless of nationality and the side of conflict they fight, have families who care about them.


Thank you.


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