Friday, July 06, 2012

Honoring Our Real Heroes

Yesterday, 1st Lt. Robert E. Bennett finally came home.  It only took 45 years, but he made it at last.  A pilot in Vietnam, 1st Lt. Bennett's remains arrived in Montrose yesterday morning, and our family was honored to be present.  You can learn more about his story here:

While the photos feature Matthew, who was invited to be part of the saluting vets as the hearse passed through the airport gates, all of the kids found it to be a moving moment and were very glad we made time out of our day to pay our respect to a man who died for our country.  There were only a handful of folks there to honor him, but I have heard his funeral service Saturday will be well attended and will include a B52 flyover.

We are always looking for opportunities to teach our kids lessons that are not "book learnin'", and that will hopefully touch their hearts.  We want them to see our country realistically, without some idealized vision of our supposed "perfection", but to also recognize who incredibly fortunate we are to live where we do and to understand that, just as humans are, our country is on a journey as they can be an important part of.  We want them aware of their freedoms and we encourage them to exercise them, even if they have opinions that might be unpopular, for that is what thousands of men and women have died for, our right to express them...every single person to express them,  Be it "boo's" on a parade route, a letter to the editor, or even walking through the door of our chosen church every Sunday morning, those rights are precious and should never be taken for granted.

Perhaps having our children come from the countries of their birth, we have seen firsthand how different things could be, and it tends to temper our negative comments about American in general. Until you have been warned that there is likely a listening device in every hotel you have ever stayed at in a country, until you have seen how the photo of the president must be displayed in every office you enter for fear of being seen as not buying into the rhetoric you have shoved down your throat, until you sit in front of televisions with news that is merely cheerleading for a political leader, you might never understand how America really is a wonderful place to live.

Thank you, 1st Lt. Bennett, for your service and your sacrifice.  You are the sort of hero we hold up in our family...not the mess that is the Kardashians, the highly over paid athletes, or the overdosed rock stars.  The LaJoy family is very appreciative of the life we have, and of the life you lost.

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