Land of the Free – In memory of John McCain

We are living in the land of the free, the land where anything is possible, the land of the immigrant’s dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to the imagine future, the land that repairs and reinvents itself. Quote from The Restless Wave by John McCain, U.S. Senator and war hero (1936-2018)

Although John McCain was a self-proclaimed imperfect person, few can question his love and loyalty to the United States of America. The above quote is a good reminder of what patriotism looks like.

When my late husband, a decorated Viet Nam Veteran, visited Senator McCain…a man he revered… in Washington, McCain was welcoming, embracing veterans as comrades. Keith fondly remembered this encounter and never lost his respect for the man. How we treat others is how we are remembered….above our our fame or even our bravery.

Affirmation: I treat others with respect.

Coaching questions: Who do you know or have known that you consider a hero? Why do they deserve your accolades? How do you want to be remembered?

 

The Fallen

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain

As much as I love honoring Veterans…members of my own family go back in service as far as the Revolutionary War…Memorial Day is, more specifically, about honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country. Veterans had the fortune of returning home. My dad, a veteran of WWII and Korea, survived these two wars to enjoy another 34 years of robust living. Most likely his life was spared because early on the Army Air Corps (forerunner of the Air Force) discovered he was colored blind. Even though he already knew how to fly, this meant he could not be a fighter pilot…and, consequently, I was born and am here to tell the tale.

My former husband, Keith, lost 134 comrades on July 29, 1967 on the aircraft carrier, USS Forrestal. He earned a Bronze Star for his heroics that day. Whenever the Viet Nam wall came to town, he honored those lost friends and comrades. Today, I’m thankful for their service and the sacrifice of their families.

Affirmation: I am thankful.

Coaching questions: Thinking of the loss others have experienced, is helpful in dealing with our own losses. Who are you thinking of today? What was their contribution to our freedom?

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My parents, Winnifred (Winnie) and Leon, right after their marriage during WWII