Veterans Day honors the heroes in our lives

Dear dad,

It is already November again. You were right — time does start moving faster and faster the older we get. November is always a month where we all seem to miss you more than usual. There are many things on the calendar this month that we always enjoyed together — the breathtaking Kentucky autumn colors, the Marine Corps birthday, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and my birthday or as you called it, my birthweek. And yes dad, I know it wasn’t your fault that I was born during deer season. I didn’t mind having the birthday get-togethers around a field-dressed deer.

This last week was full of celebrations in our community honoring our local veterans. Local schools and businesses held recognitions. And our community had a day long tribute on Veterans Day. I am always touched at how many people go out of their way to participate in at least one of the activities. It is just another example of Greater Owensboro’s big heart.

You shared with us over and over through our lives that you enlisted for each of your tours in Vietnam because you wanted to preserve freedom and democracy. You felt an obligation to do what your Dad and his generation did when they saved the world from tyranny in the 40s.

I am proud of your service more than I can ever explain. I feel like your decision to enlist as an 18-year-old shaped my life from the beginning. The pain you experienced and the lessons you learned In Country and when you returned home determined so much of what we did, where we lived, who we ran with and how close we are (that will never be past tense).

That is what makes a deep connection to me on Veterans Day — because it is all about celebrating ordinary people making extraordinary sacrifice for ideals and beliefs bigger than any one person. Those extraordinary sacrifices transform everyday people into heroes. You, dad, are my hero.

By Candance Brake President and CEO, Greater Owensboro, Chamber of Commerce