By Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan
Donald Trump’s plan to stage a parade to display our nation’s military strength reminded me of the veterans I met during an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., several years ago.
Most of the men and women on the one-day trip were in their 80s or 90s and were among the last veterans of World War II.
Many had survived harrowing experiences and were undoubtedly considered heroes, but were unwilling to refer to themselves that way.
They were a spirited group who held up through the early-morning flight from Cedar Rapids to the whirlwind tour of veterans memorials and the flight back home, where they were welcomed by a crowd of people who gathered to greet their return.
I can’t speak for this group, but I would guess they felt more honored by the hugs they received after their flight landed in Washington; the students who lined up to shake their hands as they visited the monuments and the individuals who thanked them for their service as they toured the sites and returned home, than they would be by tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Many of the veterans I met that day have passed on, but memories of that day and their humble service still remain strong. Follow future trips on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight’s Facebook page.
Cindy, What a thoughtful article. As the daughter of two WWII veterans, I couldn’t agree with you more. What does a show of might do or say about veterans? OK, so we have the finances to buy more tanks that someone else. But does that really make us ‘stronger’. The stronger country takes care of their citizens. Both of my parents were very thankful for the medical care they were able to tap into at the end of their lives. My hope is the money that would be spent on the silly boasting of a military parade can be instead spent on medical care for those veterans who need it.
Thank you for sharing your insight, Pam, especially from the perspective of your parents. Hopefully, our resources will be directed to the needs of those who are serving and have served this country.