There was an air of respect, honor and humility cast over the city during that time. It was bittersweet memories for the men who laid wreaths in honor of their fallen comrades, for the widow who kissed her late husband's picture before leaving it as a memorial for all to remember his courage and sacrifice.
For others, it was a time of reflection, to remember the men and woman who valiantly served. A time of inspiration that called to everyone, to remind us the most ordinary of people can do extraordinary things.
And for me personally, it was also a time of gratefulness to all those who had served, not just in WWII but in the preceding years and those that followed. To each person who served and played a role in protecting America's freedom.
Little did I know that by the end of the next year, I would meet my husband who was serving in the Marine Corps. While I'd always considered myself a patriotic person, my time as a military wife gave me a deeper respect for veterans.
Our veterans don't only put their life at risk; often, they have to put their life on hold. They go weeks without hearing their spouse's voice, months without their touch. They worry about their spouse's broken-down car or the flooded house when they're a thousand miles away and can't do anything about it.
They miss baby's first steps, come home to a child who doesn't recognize them. They working eighty hours a week with no extra pay and get home from work at midnight just to be called back in a few hours later. They stay up late with a buddy who's fighting demons and do their best to convince him that life is still worth living.
Serving in the military isn't a job. It's a calling and a lifestyle that requires more than only showing up for work. This veteran's day, please take a moment to thank someone who's stepped up to answer that call