Right before I parked my car this morning, there was a country song on the radio with the line, "where I come from/ there's an old flyboy out turning up dirt," which (I'm such a sap, y'all) had me fighting tears all the way from my car to my building. From the old WWII vets who watched us swing dance with tears in their eyes to the music that reminded them of home during the war (last year at Pittstop), to my close family and dear friends and high school classmates that have served more recently and in the more recent wars... thanks. And Happy Veterans day.By "fighting tears," what I really meant was crying, but fighting sobs. I leaked tears all the
way from my car to the building, about a 5 minute walk in cold wind. I have a few family members who've served. My grandfather, an uncle, and two cousins. Brave men, all. I also have some very dear friends, some of my favorite climbing partners, some of my favorite dancers.
But I wanted to elaborate on the beautiful moment at Pittstop last year that I'm talking about. The Saturday afternoon dance was in the beautiful Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, which is a military museum as well as a monument to all servicemen and women in all branches. But it also has an amazingly beautiful ballroom, with high ceilings, and intricate molding and decorations on the ceiling, in very classical style.
The most touching detail of that afternoon dance, though, was the small cadre of WWII-era vets, some in wheelchairs as they're very old men now, who sat near the front of the room and watched us dance. They smiled and laughed and joked with us, and told a few simple stories. But I also saw some of them with tears in their eyes when a song would come on that was particularly classic- presumably resurrecting a memory of long ago. The far-off look in those men's eyes is something that I think I'll always remember, when I think of our veterans and the things they've seen and done and given for this country.
Thanks for all you've done, veterans.