My favorite Veterans Day memory was five years ago, on the day after Veterans Day, when my family buried my parents at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. We all stayed at a hotel in Arlington that was the annual meeting place for a number of veterans who come back every year for the ceremonies.
The night of Nov. 11, after all the activities at the cemetery, we met as a group to have dinner. We were a mob, 50 to 60 people in all. During the meal, in came a large number of veterans, at least 80 or so, and they lined up across from all of our tables.
One gentleman stepped forward, retired Gen. Tommy Thompson, and he spoke to all of us, thanking us for the service of our parents, thanking all of us for taking the time to come from all over the country in remembrance of them and all who served. At the end of his little speech, which was quite moving, he gave a little signal and the group of veterans snapped to attention and saluted the family. Still gives me goosebumps — I will never forget it.
Every year on Veterans Day, we remember those gentlemen and pray they are okay.