(May, 2013). Last week as I took off on the road trip to see Springsteen, I crossed the old wooden bridge over the Delaware River, on my way to pick up the Drum Mama. The Veterans were there selling their paper poppies for the annual Memorial Day fund drive.
These days, the soldiers are mostly Korean War Vets, sometimes younger ones, but the World War II Veterans are for the most part, gone or incapable of standing and handing out the red flowers for more than a brief period of time.
As I approached the bridge, there were several Vets taking donations. When it was my turn to donate, a Veteran whose navy colored suit seemed to overwhelm his frail body, turned to me and offered the poppy. This man who had probably seen battle, the Depression, and lived a lifetime of highs and lows, was thanking me for the dollar I placed in his pail.
Easily close to ninety, his eyes were still as blue as the day he enlisted. Blue the color of my father's eyes. My eyes immediately filled up, and I could barely get the words "thank you sir," out, over the huge lump in my throat.
For the past couple of years, I've reposted the same blog about Memorial Day, There is a reason for Memorial Day, we honor those who have given service, or their lives.
Remember What Memorial Day Is All About
(First posted 5/19/12)
It's that time of the year again. This weekend and next, all over the country, Veteran's will be outside supermarkets, at bridges and in other assorted places looking for donations in exchange for a red paper poppy.
The poppies that are distributed today are made by hospitalized veterans and they receive a small stipend for their work. For some, this is the only supplemental income they receive. All funds taken in by the sale of the poppies are used exclusively for the therapeutic and financial benefit of veterans.
Each day we lose more and more men and women from the generation who fought in World War II. Those that are left grow more tired every day. As we get closer to Memorial Day Weekend, please take a poppy from one of these brave veterans and give a donation.
And when the veteran looks at you and says thanks...please look back at him, straight in the eye and say "No, Thank You."