I could make a list of a 100 things that inspire me.
It could be something someone said. It could be something someone did. I love to watch people if I’m waiting at the store. Seeing a little one toddle their first steps and knowing that is just the beginning a lifetime of adventure. Or watching an older person walking with their cane or walker knowing they are still holding onto their own independence. Acts of kindness are an inspiration to the greater good in humanity.
It’s truly amazing what I can see if I will slow down long enough to observe my surrounding.
I love cooking, reading, writing, our adult child and daughter-in-love and our grandson. I love history, old architecture, music, learning new things. It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing that inspires me.
I was inspired this morning. I was blessed to watch a small portion of the
“Run for the Wall” as it came through our home town this morning.
This is our third year to stand on an overpass next to the American flag and wave at the riders as they head out on their day of riding. The ride is held annually and begins in California ending at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
As I stood their today was overtaken with emotion. There were young and old. A boy scout troop had assembled at one end. At the end near us was little, white haired elderly lady. I thought back in my mind to the few Vietnam war stories my dad has shared. He really does not talk at length about those years. But I had a brief flashback this morning to a moment years ago at a church youth camp. One of the girls their my age had on a bright silver bracelet engraved with a name. I had asked her what it was. She said it was a POW/MIA bracelet for her dad and then she hurried off.
It was my dad who later explained what the bracelet meant, simply put, her dad did not return from Vietnam.
Years later I learned the true meaning of the bracelets. Many American servicemen returned home from the war in Vietnam wearing a plain brass bracelet that had been given to them by the Montagnard hill tribesmen they been fighting alongside in Vietnam. The bracelet stood for comradeship. The Americans wore it as a bond with a friend far away that was still in harms way.
In the late 1960’s, Americans concerned about the inhuman treatment of American prisoners of war used the idea of the “Montagnard bracelet” and created the POW-MIA bracelet.
Today, I stood on the bridge to not only honor my dad, who did come home. But to honor the young lady’s dad who didn’t.
Oh, and the little old lady? Her husband served in the Korean war, receiving two purple hearts. They had been married 57 years and he recently passed away. She said it was the least she could do to honor others that never made it home.
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who find they need to Re-Purpose and Re-Design their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Twitter at @kimsteadman1 and on Google+ at +Kim.