Monday, November 5, 2012

Lost in a generation

As I sit in a corner of a waiting area at the airport I glance up from my studious reading on my laptop to see what the commotion is across the way. An army man and his family is getting ready to say goodbye. They're taking pictures in a countless ways and it's apparent they're all trying not to break down right there.

I watch because I can't turn away, though I feel like I'm spying into a private party. Carefully I make sure to not catch the eyes of the family as they flit nervously around trying not to appear conspicuous. The pictures don't take long and soon the hugs and whispers of love ensue. I stare back down at my computer screen and try to disappear into the chair in which I'm sitting. I wish they could have a more private and intimate place to say good bye and share their feelings of love without the world watching.

As I try to lose myself in the computer world again a loud voice interrupts my thoughts and I glance up without thinking to see the speaker. It's a tall, nicely dressed elderly gentlemen with a beautiful silver haired wife standing next to him. In their way down the hall they had encountered the little scene that had just unfolded before me and were touched. The gentleman told the young soldier how grateful he was for the service the man has done and is doing for his country. The soldier nodded and said thank you. And again, the older man stated how much it means to him and his wife to have this young boy serving his country. The soldier wrapped his arm around his mother by his side, blushed and nearly speechless, stumbled a "You're welcome" to the couple before ducking away back to the rest of his family. The old couple turned away, smiling, and continued on down the hall toward their destination having sincerely touched the lives of not just the soldier and his family but also of me and I'm sure the others sitting nearby.

So many have walked by, so many have sat still. So many of those of us in the younger generations have lost the appreciation and then the forwardness and care to speak up and move forward. The generation that showed us the way to say thank you, the way to pause in a busy life, the way to make a positive impact on the lives of others through simple words; this generation is nearly lost.

I, for one, am truly sad to see it go.

Thank you to them for teaching us through their words and actions and thank you to those service men who  leave their families behind to serve our country.

Thank you.