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Stand. Salute. Be Grateful. Cry.

You can make me mad. You can call me names. You can be mean to me. Your actions may hurt my feelings but they do not make me cry.


Movies: The shark eats the swimmer. The unsinkable ship sinks and Leonardo DiCaprio freezes in the ocean. Oz's Dorothy's last words, "There's no place like home." The music from Ice Castles. These don't get me teary.


Falling, breaking my left arm in three places and breaking my right hand in three places. No tears. My husband's response when I called him at work and asked him to come home to take me to the ER, "I'll be there in 10 minutes." His job is 20 minutes away on an easy drive day. Tears of thankfulness.


Either of my kids getting in trouble. I'm mad but I don't cry. Anyone complimenting my children, reminding me how wonderful they are. I need a bucket.



Holding my granddaughters for the first time. The second time. The third time. Anytime. Buy stock in Kleenex.




Listening to a moving sermon in church. Seeing new believers baptized. Hearing an "only by the Grace of God go I" testimonial. I am probably sniffling and searching my purse for a fast food napkin to use as a tissue.



Situations in which I cry always catch me off guard. Blubbering, without a fast food napkin, and with eye makeup running down my face is not a public face I like to show.

However, I can count on crying every time at a particular event and I come prepared. Armed, if you will. Waterproof mascara. Plenty of tissue. Enough for my eyes and a lot more for the runny, stuffy nose that follows my crying episodes. No pretty crying here. I'm a wet slobbery mess.



I can count on a good cry a few times a year. At parades. Right out there in public. Parades are what gets me. A patriotic holiday parade. It doesn't matter if I am watching it on television, or from the curb in my hometown, hoping I am on the right side of the street to have the best view of my favorite flutist, or trombonist marching to Louie, Louie. I don't cry. Unless they are playing The Star Spangled Banner. The I'm just pound. Not teary and proud.


To get me crying you have to touch my heart. My granddaughters do. Patriotism does; patriotic holiday parades.

To be more specific, what gets me in the parade is Veterans. Veterans Marching. Veterans Marching with Flags. Old Veterans. 80 - 90-year-old Veterans Marching with Flags. American flags. Standing as tall as their aged bodies let them. Masking the horrors they witnessed. Masking the pain of following commands to invoke horror. Masking the effects their service had on their lives, their bodies, their minds. Masking their PTSD's that were not acknowledged, understood or treated most of their lives. Masking their sorrow in remembrance of comrades who marched with them last year but are now gone.




No, their faces and posture show Honor in Service in spite of injuries and disabilities inflicted upon them. Humbleness where pride is due. Victory while so much to battle remains. Braveness while serving cowards. Heroism visible to others but which illudes him in the mirror. They show an attitude of privilege to serve rather than seeking glory for their service.



They are men and women of distinction and virtue. I stand in awe of them. I stand with gratefulness to them. I stand in honor of them. I stand in honor of the flag they carry. In their hands and in their heart.



Standing in honor of the Flag of the United States of America is not something everyone does. Some are disrespectful by nature (and ignorance). Others have not been taught the proper protocol to follow when the color guards enter into view in a parade.


1. Stand and remain quiet.

2. Remove your hat (men)

3. Place your right hand over your heart.

4. Pay mindful respect.

And, if you are like me,

5. Cry


Don't wait for a parade opportunity to show respect. Adopt the habit of acknowledging veterans you encounter in your daily life with a handshake and sincere, “Thank you for your service.”


American flags. Veterans in a parade. THAT is why I have A Vintage Addiction.


Blessings,

Terri



More on flag protocol in this week's newsletter. Share- worthy information for Memorial Day and all Patriotic Holidays. https://www.avintageaddiction.com/newsletters-may-2019

A Vintage Addiction, Yuma, Arizona, USA

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