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When Appreciation for Veterans Is Personal

A personal connection to those who serve

Appreciating our military

We’ve been a military family for quite a while now. I’ve been to—and been part of—many events honoring our veterans. However, my favorite celebrations are always those that involve local communities. There’s something so precious about a local event, and I think it’s because of the personal connection that permeates those gatherings. 

I remember one National Day of Prayer, while our son was deployed, I was asked by our small city to offer the prayer for those who were currently deployed. As I prayed, I could feel my own petition amplified by those who personally knew our son. That connection brought additional comfort and peace to our family. 

A few weeks ago, we visited Clinton, MS, where my husband’s family used to live, and dropped into the local visitor’s center. While talking with the staff, we discovered that in addition to planning a huge celebration for Veterans Day, they also have a beautiful remembrance garden. The centerpiece is a life-size bronze statue, “Fallen Comrade,” depicting the heroism of a young man during the Korean war. The statue was crafted by local sculptor, Samuel Gore, and honors the life-long friendship of two young men who grew up in Clinton—Homer Ainsworth and Joe Albritton. 

Even if you don’t have a loved one who has served, I encourage you to participate in these local events. For me, seeing the crowd at community celebrations was tangible proof that our community cared and appreciated my son’s service. It was also a way for me to see God’s love in action, as my friends and neighbors took time from their busy schedules to say thank you. 

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