Saturday at Barrancas National Cemetery on Naval Air Station Pensacola off Taylor Road.
About 150 local students in grades five through eight submitted essays.
●Forever being identified as a “military person” based solely on an upright posture and a shoulders-back walking gait.
●Buying a red paper poppy whenever I see another veteran selling them and calling him “brother” when the exchange is made.
But the experience of military service leaves an indelible imprint on the psyche and soul of each soldier, sailor, airman and Marine. but being grateful the country doesn’t still require my service, because it was always sweltering hot, and physically I could no longer keep up.
My civilian career progressed, my family grew, and the Army drifted into the gray mist of memory.Our service in the armed forces determined who we were and continues to define who we are moving into the future.My father said about events in his life that “I wouldn’t give a penny to do it again, but I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience.” Would most veterans say the same about their service? Further, and more important, I consider it my honor to have served our country.In the Civil War, some 3,500 Bedford men may have fought for the Confederacy. Bedford men and other Virginians fought in the Spanish-American War.In World War I, about 800 Bedford men served in the military, and 39 died.●Fourth of July fireworks sound surprisingly like a mortar attack. ●Feeling slightly self-conscious at my child’s grade school on Veterans Day, but also feeling important and honored. Because you served, my son did not have to.” Really? ●Experiencing a faint gag reflex when Girl Scouts try to sell me cookies, though I loved them for sending countless boxes of cookies to the theater of war.It’s not their fault I made a pig of myself on their generosity.Our armed forces have gone into harm’s way many other times, too. Hundreds of thousands have been wounded, and many have suffered as prisoners-of-war.Virginians have always been counted on to answer the call of duty. Bedford men and other Virginians fought in the Colonial militia, with British forces in the French and Indian Wars, and against the British in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.November 11 is Veterans Day…..a time to pause, reflect, and pay tribute to all of the men and women who have served in the country’s armed forces.From Moneta Virginia, writer, veteran and retired Pentagon executive James Morrison prepared this essay.