“You have been to France before monsieur?” the French customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. To which the official replied, “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.” Came the reply, “Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look. Then he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find any Frenchmen to show it to.”*
Oh well, as General Patton once quipped, “What can you expect from a country whose tanks seem to have one forward gear and five reverse gears?!”
Veteran’s Day roles around every year on the 11th day of November. The reason for this is that it was originally a commemoration of the end of World War One, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the cease fire with Germany went into effect. First called Armistice Day, it has since evolved into the observance we all know and love today.
This past Tuesday, we were once again given the opportunity to recognize and pay homage to our veterans. Fittingly, businesses all over America offered free meals, free cups of coffee, free car washes, etc… to veterans of the U.S. Armed Services. Perhaps you yourself did something similar. I know I tried to say thank you to every veteran whose path I crossed.
Which brings me to the point of my post today. While it is important to recognize and honor our veterans on a given day set aside specifically for that purpose, it is equally important to remember them the other 354 days of the year as well. After all, they didn’t just serve one day out of the year. They served for as long as it took to get the job done and to fulfill their service to our country and us, their fellow citizens.
So, don’t pass up the opportunity to say a word of appreciation to any and all veterans you encounter this day and this week, even as you did on their day last week. It will surely mean a lot to them; and it will very likely be rewarding to you as well.
SOURCE: Based on a story told by Paul W. Powell in his book: Laugh and Live Longer: Good Humor to Brighten and Lighten Your Life, (Self-published, Tyler, TX, 2008), p. 28. (Note: The full text of this work is also available online at: http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/66830.pdf.)
You may also want to visit: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-760536. The article here is titled "You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop". Robert Whiting's story is one of five listed that will make you very proud of our Armed Forces.