Veteran's Day is big in our family.
This year we again polished up the red CJ jeep, decked her out with flags and loaded up a few grand kids. I shook hands with veterans as I walked the parade route. The Auburn Veteran's Day Parade is the largest west of the Mississippi. The governor attended. Newly reelected Congressman Dave Reichert was just ahead of me in line. Notably, it didn't rain.
(On several lines of my family, relatives fought in the Revolutionary War and for the Union Army during the Civil War. My dad and husband are Army veterans. My son is in the Air Force.)
I have always felt that the legislature is the battlefield of a free nation. We battle our issues with words and alliances, votes and public support, with the free press and talk radio reporting the play. The chamber floor is ranked with people who have fought "campaigns" to win their seats. We thank our veterans for this freedom. Gladly, our family stops it's daily activity and attends the memorials and remembers.
I was going through some storage boxes this weekend and ran across a letter from my World War II veteran dad.(I am documenting it here for my children and theirs.) My dad passed away in 2007 at age 82. He was a perfect father. I won't lose this letter again. I want him by my side.
March 6, 1994
Gosh---I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter to you. As you know it's not one of my favorite things to do. But, I just got thinking the other night what you mean to me, and how much I love you.
It's at a time like this that I run out of the appropriate words to use.
I look back at my life and wonder what it might have been like without you. The thought doesn't even register.
There are many reasons that I love you, and many reason that I am proud of you.
I remember when you were a teenager, and you came home from school angry. Seems one of your teachers was teaching HIS political beliefs to his class. I can't remember whether you confronted the teacher, or reported it to the principal, but you thought it [he] was wrong and you stood up for your beliefs. I knew then, that you would cope with life and people, because you stood up for yourself.
I wasn't wrong.
You do set standards and maintain them. All I have to do is to talk to any of your children to see that you do not waiver from your standards.
You and your husband are truly blessed with wonderful offspring, and of course they are a reflection of you and your husband.
You must take great satisfaction from your accomplishments and the respect that your fellow politicians have for you.
Pam, I don't believe that a day that goes by without my thinking of you or talking about you. I'm so proud of you dear, and I want you to know how much you mean to me. I love you very much. Just thought I'd take a few minutes and tell you of my feelings.
With all my love,
Your happy father,