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The VVA Veteran Reviews Prelude

Prelude was recently reviewed by David Wilson, a reviewer from the site “Books in Review II.” Wilson's review eloquently chronicles his reaction to the novel alongside his own experience in Vietnam. "I highly recommend this novel, both as a good read and as a glimpse into the lives of...

SD Sawyer

Proud of Matsunaga 4th & 5th Graders

11/11/11 — two days away . . .

Soon after school started this fall, 9 yr old grandson Paulie asked us to reserve last night for the yearly Matsunaga Elem Sch Tribute to Veterans. Every phone conversation since has ended the same, “You aren’t going to forget to come to my program, are you?” Yesterday, he jumped off the school bus, saw us, and knew the promise was kept. (Grandparents don’t forget such things, you know.)  On the walk home, he swung his backpack and marched beside us, whistling a military medley, eyes twinkling, trying not to tell surprises about the program that evening.

In the packed auditorium,  I was not expecting to see so many stand when, at the start of the program, active, retired, and military veterans were invited to rise and receive applause.  In front of us were several Japanese American Army World War II veterans, all in uniform.  Our government back then had placed their families in Internment Camps, yet these men signed up to fight for America. The White House recently decorated them for their service.  I wish you could have seen the pride on their faces as they sang the National Anthem, heard the love of this country in their voices when we spoke to them after the program.

Thousands of people filled the auditorium, hundreds and hundreds of 4th & 5th graders marched down long aisles onto the stage. Their behavior— impeccable.  They knew every word to every song, and they sang their hearts out! But I focused almost exclusively on one 9 year old little boy, our Paulie, whom I feared might fall off the risers as he belted out  Proud to be an American.  I’ve never witnessed such conviction, such love of country on a child’s face,  and I’ve never felt such pride in a patriot.

On Friday we’ll be with the family again in Arlington National Cemetery, then at The Wall. The three grandsons will be there with their new baby brother and his parents, and our other daughter. And we’ll be saying a lot of “Thank you for your service” and “Thank you for your sacrifices” to tired, worn veterans.  Every year they show up to honor the America they believe in, to seek out then stand beside soldiers who became their brothers.

Denny’s is giving veterans free breakfasts, Hosses is giving them free lunches, and Texas Road House— free dinners. My husband will act sad about missing all three, which will actually be good for the diet he pretends he’s on.  But—  for other reasons, I doubt he regrets missing the meals.

And you ? How are you celebrating Veterans Day?  Veterans are everywhere.  Look around, you’re sure to spot one. Especially if you show up at a Denny’s for breakfast.  Just remember to say, “Thanks.”

That’s all.  They’ll get it.

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One Response to Proud of Matsunaga 4th & 5th Graders

  1. Bob says:

    What a wonderful event you got to attend! You must be one proud grandmother!

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