Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Moment's Reflection

"...Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard." - President John F. Kennedy, 1962

I am not a veteran of our nation's armed forces. Among the six Kenny children (none of us are kids any longer but it makes all of us feel younger when I use the word "children" to describe our sextet in our present, collective state) only one of us is. Bill, the oldest of the tribe, is a veteran of the United States Air Force. While as a kid I thought the coolest thing about the time he spent stationed in Europe was the fact that he got to meet and interview a lot of top-drawer musical talent such as Springsteen, I suspect - given the course that his life has run the past three decades or so - that he views meeting his life's great love Sigrid and welcoming their two children into the world as occupying higher rungs on the Ladder of Cool. I shall defer to him and honor his ranking system. Besides I know just how much of a Springsteen fan Sigrid is....

Other than Bill, as far as I know the only military veterans in our family were Mom's brothers: Uncle Jim and Uncle John. I believe that both of them served during the Korean War - Uncle John in combat and Uncle Jim as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Margaret's family has some military services in its bloodlines as well. Her great uncle Pat Barbato served in the United States Army during World War II. He was killed in action by friendly fire. When Rob and I visited Washington DC in November 2008 we visited the World War II, Korean War and the Vietnam War Memorials. Simply amazing and inspiring places to visit and to spend a bit of time.

Today is Armed Forces Day. Thank you veterans - one and all. Those who have served previously. Those who serve presently. Those who served in peacetime. Those who have fought in our Nation's wars. Regardless of their branch of service, American soldiers all.


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