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Matthew Hoh

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Thoughts on Veterans Day

War Grave

Of course I have a lot of thoughts on Veterans Day. It’s kind of hard not too, as you are basically hit with a torrent of gratitude, most of it applied with the same amount of care and specificity of a fire hose.

I wrote this last year, but it still encapsulates much of my feelings towards Veterans Day. I am less angry than I was a year ago, but that anger is still there and will always be. It is something I have recognized about myself and something I will have to manage the rest of my life.

A Few Days After Veterans Day

I get lots of notes thanking me for my service on Veterans Day. I am grateful and appreciative. My friends, both veterans and active duty service members, receive the same affections of respect and esteem and, of course, value those sentiments.

There comes a time, however, when a line is breached. I have difficulty receiving a message from a teacher thanking me for what I have done for my country. I blush at the hand shakes, emails, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and banners from police officers, fire fighters, nurses, nonprofit organizers and volunteers, clergy, utility workers and good parents; people who do more on a daily basis for our nation than I have ever done.
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