I had a very good Veterans Day this year. In fact, it was better than usual.
First we went to Tullahoma. At 11 am the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) dedicated a memorial marker for the 43 Confederate soldiers buried in the Tullahoma Confederate Cemetery. It was a beautiful ceremony, in spite of the high wind. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) were present, in addition to the UDC members, local dignitaries and others who were interested. The SCV re-enactrf an artillery and infantry salute and a salute to Dixie. This gathering had nothing to do with who won or lost a war. It was a special remembrance for the men -- fathers, sons, brothers -- who lay in those graves.
After that inspiring service, my husband and I went to Applebee's for lunch. We were in Biloxi last week and saw ads on TV that Applebee's would feed service men and veterans free on Veterans Day. They certainly did. When we arrived around noon, there was a line waiting to be seated. Standing outside and hearing the older veterans talk may have been the best part of the meal. We heard veterans from different times talk about their service. One elderly gentleman who was in World War II was actually wearing his uniform. (It was obvious that not all of the men could do that.) Oh, yes, the meal was very good. The manager came and thanked my husband for his service to our country. Jim's lunch was free; I bought his iced tea.
I had a great uncle from Bedford County who served in Europe during World War I. Then my father and four uncles were overseas during World War II. All of them returned home alive, and for that I am extremely thankful. Jim and I now have a grandson in Iraq. We pray for his safe return also.
Last night I did not see the parade, as I was one who went to church. I'm sure it was great, even without the bands. The parades are important to the veterans. However, I had a very special Veterans Day.