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Kirkwood offers opportunity to thank veterans

By Maggie Demunda
On November 15, 2016

Students, faculty and staff tie ribbons on a tree in Iowa Hall on Veterans Day.
Photo by Maggie Demunda.

 

For years I’ve known that my father served in the military. It had been quietly mentioned in passing a few times here and there throughout my life, but never in his presence and always as something that we didn’t talk about in front of him. It wasn’t until he passed in 2014 and I started going through his records that I got more of an idea of his service.

Because of this, I had never given more of a passing thought to Veteran’s day. It had always been a day that if we were in school that day, we had an assembly, or we didn’t and school went on as normal. It was an abstract thought, it was rarely something that I gave more than a passing thought to. This year, despite knowing more about not only my father’s service but others in my family who have served throughout the years, I was on track to give it little more than a passing thought as well.

That was, until I entered the café for lunch. Outside the café, there was a table set up with bowls of ribbons, in different colors. Next to the table was a tree, already decorated with many ribbons. I had to look and see what the tree, and the table were all about. It was the Military Honor Tree, to remember and celebrate the service of those here at Kirkwood, or family members who have or are currently serving. There were blue ribbons for those who have or are currently serving in the military, white ribbons for family members or friends who have served or are serving currently, red ribbons to support and thank all service members and veterans and black ribbons in recognition of POW’s or MIA’s.

I had so many feelings when I saw the table and the tree. I wanted to cry, I wanted to sing and I wanted to salute. On a day-to-day basis, most of us don’t think too much about those who are serving in the military. We take for granted the rights, freedoms and privileges that we enjoy daily. But more than that, we also don’t think much about the families of those serving. Those families who do, constantly, think about those that are serving and wonder if they will ever see their loved ones again. I hope that when people saw the tree that they did stop for a moment to think about those that serve our country. More important, I hope that they each tied a ribbon on that tree.

To those who are serving, or have served, and to their families, thank you. Thank you for your courageous service. Thank you for giving yourself for all of us, for being heroes. Thank you more than these simple words can ever say.

And yes, I tied a white ribbon.

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