For some reason, the other day my mind floated back to the time of this year's Woodbury Days, and I recalled the two young men serving for the National Guard who were manning their station at our city's beloved fair.
When the men had been walking across the volleyball court areas, I and my boyfriend thanked them for their service.
Then as soon as I remembered this, another memory came to mind of a few years ago, when I had been in the former Blockbuster with some girlfriends of mine. There was a soldier in uniform perusing through the movies, and I had stopped to thank him for his service. One of my friends had laughed at this in response. You can imagine that that friendship didn't last too long.
For some reason, I seem to be the only kid in Woodbury that does this (other than my boyfriend.) And don't correct me, because I've noticed. Maybe I wouldn't be so sensitive to this issue if my brother wasn't in the Air Force, but I have to admit, it ticks me off.
I am currently growing up in a generation where the conflicts in the Middle East are all that we have ever known. 9/11 is an event that has shadowed our country and changed it in many ways. It can likely be said that 9/11 is my generation's Pearl Harbor, even if I can't remember anything about that day.
But you would think that when parents keep talking about it, they would also remember to teach their children the most basic act of politeness: saying thank you. Now I'm sure by this point, some of the people that are reading this are going to scoff and say, "Well, where does she get off telling parents how to parent their children? She's only 16!"
Yes, I'm not a parent. I'm just a junior in high school who happens to have a blog, like so many other kids out there. But my point is that there are men and women every day who risk their lives for our country, and not to mention die for our country, and the least we can do is send a little gratitude their way when we encounter them face to face.
No matter how much I like comic books and the heroes in them, our soldiers will always remain as the heroes of our nation. No matter what your viewpoint is on those wars, its a fact that has proven true throughout the history of this nation.
So, I'm asking those who read this article to take my plea to action. Please, the next time that you see a soldier and they aren't preoccupied with something, take this moment to set an example for everyone around you. Walk up to them with a big smile, shake their hand, and thank them for their service. Not only is it polite, not only is it common sense, but it is truly the least that we can do.