November 11

4:04 PM

Today I am so grateful for those who gave their lives so that I could live here where I do today. I couldn't enjoy the freedoms I do today without those brave men and women who lived and died for my rights. I am so blessed to live where and how I do.

Today being Veteran's Day makes me think of the opportunity I had to be in Europe this summer. In Europe I went to two American military cemeteries, one in Italy and one in France. I can honestly say being in both those cemeteries, I felt the Spirit stronger than I did in any of the churches or cathedrals on the whole trip.

In the cemetery in Italy the groundskeeper talked about the campaigns in Italy during WWII and how many graves there were and such. The thing that struck me the most was when he talked about all the graves that are marked, not with a name, but with "Here lies a comrade in arms known only to God." Then the groundskeeper said, "Think about this. Not only did these men get their future taken away from them, they had their past taken away too." After he said that and we spent time walking around, I sobbed.

Normandy was so amazing as well. We got there and there weren't very many people there. It was amazing to be on a beach, right by the ocean, yet nobody was playing in the water or blasting music. People know what this beach means. My teacher talked about the story of D Day and how individual people, people my age, made choices to change the war, and ultimately save America. I can't even describe the things that I felt on that beach that day, but it changed me. And today, I'm not only grateful for those feelings, but for those amazing people who helped America become the nation it is today. Who gave me my freedom. Who allow me to live. 

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