Monday, November 21, 2011

Respect of Our Ancestors

Veteran’s Day this year seemed to take root in me in a different way. After hearing veterans share so many moving accounts, the word RESPECT kept coming to me for days.

I’m not sure if it was because the month of November is often a time when we connect with our loved ones who “are on the other side” or if those who have died and remain eternal soul-mates just want me to listen to them oftener right now. In either case, I’m grateful they are helping me remember more clearly the reality of respect for everything and everyone.

I have gotten a glimpse of what rooted respect means from listening to my American Indian friend, Mary Lou. When I accompanied her to a powwow in Hinckley, MN I was marveling at the amazing richness of the clothing that the participants were wearing. She told me that they are so valuable and treasured that they are willed to others in their will.

Then she added, if any eagle feather happens to fall off of their dance attire while they are dancing, everyone must stop until one among them that is a veteran follows a sacred ritual to pick up the feather. Only a veteran can touch this “first American flag”. It suddenly dawned on me that every enlisted person has knowingly or unknowingly pledged themselves to be a potential Martyr-for-
Freedom. May I never forget the price they pay and honor and cherish each enlisted person.

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