Thankfully, in the hospice environment we have the privilege to recognize and “pin” our patients who served in the military. There has not ever been a “pinning” ceremony that I’ve attended that has not moved me to tears.
I have witnessed a Marine pin an Army Vet; seen a Vet with dementia who was non-responsive for weeks have an awakening and salute during a pinning. I have witnessed a Vet tell stories of his experiences in war that his family never knew happened.
At Cornerstone Hospice we have a corps of Cornerstone Salutes volunteers that invest their time and efforts to visit and conduct the pinning ceremonies. It is wonderful to watch them and sense their patriotic pride as they do their work.
As I review my life, I remember how each school day began from the time I was in Kindergarten until I graduated from high school. The entire school pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…even in the tumultuous 1960’s. Being proud of my country is part of my fabric as an American. As a hospice Chaplain, I am very much OK with being patriotic.
This weekend we remember those that died that we might be a free nation. How can we ever repay their sacrifice…
Be safe, enjoy your family, and give thanks.