Each year, the Veterans Day National Ceremony is held on today’s date at the Arlington National Cemetery. The well known ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and then continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries.
I’ve been to this sacred place in Virginia and have witnessed the changing of the guard first hand. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful yet so somber in my life. It truly is an eye-opening experience to take in. If you didn’t know, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather. This ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Many of us have at least one family member or a very close friend that either has served, or are currently enlisted in the military. I have several amazing family members and dear friends who are veterans from various branches. But today, I want to personally recognize and thank my grandfather, Al Koohy.
My gramps was a culinary specialist in the Army. Though that may not sound like the most glamorous or brag-worthy of positions, I definitely think it is! It takes a special kind of man to wake before everyone else and prepare quality meals for countless people every day. In fact, I learned he was the #1 honor graduate in his class for the food service course in 1973. I can definitely be thankful for the skills he learned there… He is still an amazing cook today and I will always volunteer to be his taste tester whenever I visit! LOL
Here’s a photo taken from his basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina (top row, middle).
And another of him holding my mom back in Iowa in uniform – I had my grandma send me this one. Proof that printed photos are a timeless and priceless treasure. I think this serves as a perfect reminder to my followers that photographs are so incredibly important in preserving your family history and legacy.
Some of you may not know this, but I have always and will continue to offer ALL RETIRED AND ACTIVE DUTY military personnel (and first responders, too!) a discount on my services and artwork orders year round – not just on observed holidays like most businesses. You’ve sacrificed so much and I understand that quality photographs aren’t always affordable, so I feel this is the least I can do to thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
I hope everyone takes a moment today to think about the meaning behind Veteran’s Day and be thankful for all those who have served.