Don't Thank Me For My Service Today - And Response (6)

Monday, May 27, 2013

I was the grocery store earlier today.  Today, being Memorial Day, it seemed fitting to wear my U.S. Navy T-shirt, a way to say thanks to my fellow sailors who have left this life and are no longer with us. 

I was in the bakery section, dutifully picking up a loaf of fresh italian bread that my wife had requested to go with our dinner tonight.  A young woman came up to me and said "I assume you are or were in the Navy?  Thanks for your service."  I know the young woman meant no malice, and I did appreciate what she said.  But today is not my day, nor any other veteran's day who is still considered among the living.  Today is the day we slow down and remember, honor, cry for, and miss, our troops who are no longer with us.  Who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Who cashed in that blank check they wrote to Uncle Sam.  And so, as gently and as kindly as possible, I told the young woman "Thank you, but today is not my day.  Today is not Veteran's Day.  Today is Memorial Day.  So if you want to tell anyone thank you for their service, you should go to the National Cemetery and say thank you.  Today is their day."

I know it can be confusing, what with Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, D-Day, Veteran's Day, and Pearl Harbor Day.  Yet all of these days have very special meanings, heartbreaking stories, and very different aspects as to what they all mean.  We as Americans need to know, remember, and respect those differences, as well as pass onto the younger generations what each of these days signifies.  

So to all of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms, who are not here with us anymore, you are always in our hearts.  We love you, and we miss you.  But most of all, we thank you.

Adam Buchannon 

* * * 

Thank you, Mr. Buchannon.  You couldn’t have expressed the meaning of the holiday any better. 

We are all appreciative of the service and sacrifice of our current military and our veterans, but today definitely has a distinctive and solemn meaning. 

Bob Linehart    

* * * 

I like to think my parents raised me properly. One of the important things they imprinted upon me was sometimes it's just better to say "thank you."  When complimented on a new hair-cut, don't tell them it's three-weeks old, just say "thank you." "What, this old dress" sounds like you're fishing for compliments so just say "thank you." Yes, there are plenty of individuals who have difficulty accepting a simple compliment and gratitude. 

The thread of this idea should strike home to this article's writer and respondent. Just say "thank you." 

A decade ago I was awaiting seating at the Northgate Red Lobster standing next to an elderly couple. The gentleman was wearing a U.S.S. North Carolina cap. My father was in the US Navy and though he was an aviator and didn't serve on a battleship I daily thank my father in my mind for his dedication to his family and his military service. It's the only way I can thank him these days. 

It was unavoidable, being in such close proximity, not to overhear portions of their conversation and it was obvious to me it was their anniversary. Thinking of my father and so many others who deserve gratitude and recognition, solicited or not, I surreptitiously paid for that couple's meal. It wasn't Memorial Day or Veteran's Day, it was just a Saturday. 

Leaving the restaurant shortly before they finished their meal I approached their table. They hadn't asked for their check so they had no idea their meal had been paid for already. When I asked if they had enjoyed their meal the wife said their dinner was excellent. I turned directly to the veteran, held out my hand out and he shook it. I said "My father was a Navy man and I just wanted to thank you for your service." 

Obviously unaccustomed to this type of greeting he simply said "thank you." But the misty eyes and beaming smile of his wife spoke volumes of pride for her betrothed of many years. Her pride must have doubled when they discovered their meal was already taken care of. 

While some may think it necessary to educate unsolicited gratitude from others, perhaps it would be wise to smile and just say "thank you." 

David Fihn, Sr. 

* * * 

I'm sorry that some fail to recognize and understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.  

Thanking a service member for their service who is alive and kicking, is like thanking a police officer for their service on the annual day of remembering fallen officers.  While the average civilian might see it as a kind thing to do, those who have worn a uniform see it almost as an insult. 

Quite simply, if you have never worn the uniform, then you won't understand the deep meaning and significance, not to mention differences of Memorial Day vs. Veteran's Day. 

Perhaps Mr. Fihn should learn and respect the difference.  Some don't like to be thanked for something they've not done.  Memorial Day is for those who died for their country.  

Jan Carlson 

* * * 

I, myself, abhor being patronized. Quite simply, I do know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Still, I find it amazing that anyone would ever be insulted from a misplaced thank you, but I suppose anything is possible.  

Using this reasoning, I will try to remember to stay away from my uncle's grave on Veterans Day, lest I make somebody else angry.  

Chris Rice
Chattanooga 

* * * 

What I find so incredibly insulting are Mr. Fihn's and Mr. Rice's misguided opinions... they are patronizing and insulting.  

Mr. Buchannon didn't say he felt insulted or unappreciative for being thanked on Memorial Day.  If you bother to actually read the article that's perfectly clear.  He simply stated he didn't feel comfortable being thanked for his service on Memorial Day... as Memorial Day is a day reserved to remember and honor veterans who have died, and obviously Mr. Buchannon is very much alive.  

Mr. Buchannon's article not only illustrates the differences between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, it's also his way of doing what he can to honor his "brothers and sisters in arms who are no longer with us." 

And it seems Mr. Fihn and Mr. Rice decided their way of honoring Memorial Day was to insult a veteran.  

Mariah Smith 

* * * 

Kudos to Mariah Smith for her well spoken letter. Respect may be defined as knowing exactly what, and to whom, you are attempting to impart respect. Memorial Day was set aside for the fallen, any other day, and particularly Veterans Day, is for those who have served. 

Mr. Buchannon knows how to show his respect. Thank you for your service and respect, sir. 

Harry Uffalussy



Remembering Mitch Beard On Memorial Day

A little over two years ago, my friend Mitchell "Mitch" Beard passed away from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident at 24 years old. This was not as it should be. Mitch had made it through war. He was a combat-decorated United States Marine who served in Afghanistan. I first met Mitch when I was a college student at Tennessee Temple in 2004. Mitch’s parents, Steve ... (click for more)

Trump's Messaging

I have been an ardent supporter of Trump since he first entered the race.  O'Reilly's special with him last evening, which I saw very early this morning, has turned me around and left me on empty.  Thanks to Bill, he finally was successful in goading Trump to explain what he plans to do specifically to put his expressed commitments to the people in place if he is elected. ... (click for more)

Large Hole Develops In Lane Of I-24 Eastbound Over Chestnut Street; Emergency Repair Undertaken

 A large hole developed in the I-24 eastbound bridge over Chestnut Street in Chattanooga on Sunday evening. Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "The hole is such that we are having to close a lane to protect traffic.  This will cause a significant backup in traffic, especially given the holiday.  "This is the same bridge, but different location that we recently did ... (click for more)

12 Lost Hikers Rescued At Rainbow Lake, Edwards Point

Eleven adults and a child were briefly lost at Rainbow Lake and Edwards Point trails on Signal Mountain on Sunday. A 911 call was made at 9:45 p.m. from one of the hikers reporting the group lost sunlight hiking out of the trails at Edwards Point. Th Signal Mountain Fire Department and the Walden's Ridge Emergency Services have responded to the scene to ... (click for more)

Chicago Fire Wins Steinbrecher Cup 2-1 In Overtime

It took 120 minutes to decide who is the best US amatuer soccer team Saturday night at Finley Stadium as the Chattanooga Football Club took on the Chicago Fire of the PDL.   The Fire would score first but Chattanooga tied the match early in the second half.  Luke Winter scored the equalizer in the 47th minute off a Jon Finlay cross.   The game would remain tied ... (click for more)

Smokies' Hurlers Limit Lookouts To Four Hits Sunday In 5-1 Win

The Lookouts drew six walks, but only managed four hits in their 5-1 loss to the Tennessee Smokies Sunday in front of a crowd of 5,356 fans at AT&T Field.    Chattanooga's loss drops them to 22-28 through 50 games in the Southern League North Division. Tennessee starting pitcher Brad Markey was lights out early for the Smokies, carrying a no-hitter into ... (click for more)