This picture was taken by my grandson, Jonathan Whitehead, in the main square of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
Every day at 5:00pm, the Flag is ceremoniously lowered and a veteran of our nation’s military participates in the ceremony.
The band plays America the Beautiful and the Pledge of Allegiance is recited.
As the Flag is being lowered, the band plays the Star-Spangled Banner.
After the Flag Retreat, the Veteran is presented with our nation’s Flag.
Today, Veterans Day, is a most important day to many, including me. Four of my cousins served in the U.S. military, Frank in the Air Force, Joe in the Army, and Bill and Thomas in the Navy; my brother George in the Air Force.
Thanks so much for all you’ve done in sacrificing your young years for our country, to keep America free.
I want to also speak of my uncle, Sgt. Albert Latschar Hunt, who celebrated his 17th birthday on Nov 2, 1941. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on that December “Day of Infamy”, he, along with many other teenagers, enlisted to defend his country…and we officially entered WWII. By the time he left his teenage years behind him, he had already been in a Nazi prisoner of war camp. He eventually escaped with another young soldier. He returned home when he was about 21-years-old, having experienced more trauma in those 4 years than many experience in a lifetime. He was honorably discharged in 1945. The only person he ever told about his Nazi camp experiences was his older brother, Clarence.
The high schools of the country were empty of many fine young men who would never finish their Junior and Senior years, never go to the prom, never play football, never march in the high school band and never learn to drive the family car. Now that I am a grandmother with grandchildren that age, I think of this and am in awe of these young soldiers (children) who risked all.
My father, Captain George Rhoads, however, did not come home. He lies in an American Military Cemetery, in Epinal, France, along with hundreds of others…some of them his young charges. He continues to keep watch over them as he did during those fateful decades long ago.