Veterans Day Commentary – A Time to Remember
By Bob Naffier
Our Veterans Day activities this year were a lot to behold for sure. All of America’s veterans were recognized. The wonderful honor and recognition went on all week. For me, the grand finale came on game day of Green Bay versus Chicago when the NFL and FOX News took time to honor all veterans. The cameras and commentators took the American viewers to Norfolk, Virginia where military members at the Naval Base were televised as spectators of the game. It was impressive!
Of course, all this coverage became dear to my heart because Norfolk was once my stomping grounds when I served in the U.S. Navy. Viewers had a chance to take a tour of several of our largest and most powerful seagoing vessels and the view reminded me of my days in active duty. We were able to see the width and breadth of one of our country’s most formidable aircraft carriers. Football Commentator, Howie Long, stood as tall as he could center stage atop the flight deck with his microphone in hand. He invited the ground and sky crew cameras to try to find him. After searching and searching, they finally spotted what looked like a small dot out on the horizon. They zoomed in and it was Howie! As large as this man is, in that moment he appeared dwarfed by the absolute hugeness of that ship.
Howie said something interesting as the cameras panned between both him and the various other ships and naval personnel. He said, “Despite all the powerful equipment and massive amount of steal you see here, it is important to realize that it takes all these talented and dedicated people to really make the whole thing work. We take this time to recognize them on this Veterans Day weekend and thank all our veterans who have ever served this country. Happy Veterans Day!”
I was especially proud by what he said because at one time I was one of those service members standing at attention on deck and saluting the American Flag while the military band played our National Anthem. I am thankful to all our servicemen and women who stood at attention with right hand raised to eyebrow and looking sharp. You looked really good on TV. I am equally thankful to the broadcasting stations who televised this spectacular display of respect and patriotism. This is by far better than some of the scenes shown to us during the playing of our National Anthem in the past. We try not to dwell on them and realize what a great Veterans Day celebration we had. This is America! PS: Green Bay won!
Last but not least, we have others deserving of recognition. They are the many participants that marched and rode in parades throughout our beautiful country. The piece da resistance of it all was when we saw our very own proud members of the Greendale American Legion Post and VFW Post marching in our Milwaukee and Greendale parades. These wonderful people, and others like them, are who made this country. Thank you for serving!
I’d also like to thank Tim Bellis for his input to make this article possible and for all the photos he provided. I am certain it took plenty of coordination on his part because he not only participated in the events, but he managed to get some really great camera shots too. And to everyone everywhere, thank you for enjoying this holiday weekend together with us.