When we went to Disney World in June, we raced through a lot of airports. Flying out of a small airport as a convenience kind of falls apart as a plan when you have a 30 minute layover to get from one end of a huge airport to the next for a connecting flight. So when I say "raced" I mean it.
We saw a lot of people too. Some people were vacationing. You could tell by the flip flops they wore and the backpacks they carried. Also by the young children racing in circles around them. Some people were traveling for business. They were the ones in business suits with briefcases. Frequently they were on the phone as well.
We also saw lots of men and women in uniform. Their camouflaged backpacks matched their clothing. "Do you see that guy over there?" "What guy?! I can't see anything!" Camouflage jokes are a big hit in our family!
I'm not used to seeing military personnel. We don't live near a major base, so it's just not a part of our scenery here. I know a few people in the military, but again not locally. One thing that really struck me, though, when I saw all those servicemen and women in the airport was how much I felt like I needed to thank them.
So we did. As we walked and raced through the airports, I called out "thank you" over and over. The kids caught on and started doing it too. And then Henry asked, "Mommy, why are we thanking them?" And I explained to him that those uniforms identified people who help to keep our country safe.
One gentleman was walking the same way as we were and we got caught in a bottleneck just as we were passing him. I said "thank you" to him and he smiled. Then he saw the kids behind me and nodded at them. "That's why I do it." he said. And I teared up and thanked him again.
Today is a day our country remembers a great wrong done. Not just to us, but to our world as a whole. Today is also a day that we remember how quickly people pulled together to help each other out. How selflessly people raced to the front lines to see where they could be of assistance. Today is a day to remember lives lost as well as a day to be thankful for those that protect us now.
To the brave military men and women who serve this country both domestically and abroad, I say thank you. To their families, who endure long absences because of deployment, I say thank you. To local law enforcement and their families, I say thank you. And I pray for peace in our country and in our world.