Every November 11th, we as a country celebrate #Veteran’s Day.
It is a day to honor the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces and to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. To honor the people that I believe are true heroes.
I have always had a special place in my heart for those in the military. I was always taught to show respect and appreciation to all veterans and their families for the selfless service and protection they have given our country.
I always considered my family and myself Patriotic but I never thought about us as a “Military Family.”
So when I started thinking about Veterans Day and how I wanted to honor those who served, I started thinking about the older generations in my family. And then it hit me…every generation but mine, has served in a branch of the military during a wartime.
My mother’s grandfather Jesse (Jesse Brittner) fought and served in the US Army during World War I. Her father, Harry (Harry Frankel) served in the US Air Force and fought in World War II. Her Uncle Stanley (Stanley Brittner) also served in the US Air Force and fought in the Korean War. My Father’s Grandfather, James (James Spadafora) served in the US Army during WWI. My father’s father, Salvatore (Salvatore Spadafora) served in the US Coast Guard during World War II. And both my father, James (James Spadafora) and Uncle Augie (Augie Alifante) are US Marines who served during the Vietnam War.
Basically, being a Patriot is in my blood, literally.
Then it got me thinking, about how fortunate my family has been. 7 men in the military, and every one of them came home to their families after their particular war was over. All of these men got to experience their children being born and a few even got to meet their grandchildren. I was fortunate enough to have my grandpa Sal in my life for 32 years. And my dad and my uncle Augie are the two most important and influential men in my life. The sacrifices that people in the military have to make, especially being away from their loved ones for long periods of times or losing their lives for their country are beyond difficult for me to comprehend. The fact that there are people in my family that were willing to make those sacrifices for not only their family, but for their country gives me a whole new sense of pride. Service before self is why we owe all of our veterans a debt of gratitude…yesterday, today and tomorrow.
10 years ago, my Grandpa Sal and a bunch of his war buddies in the Bronx helped coordinate the Bronx Veterans Museum which collects military memorabilia in the lobby of a local funeral home (John Dormi & Sons Funeral Home).
Grandpa Sal was so proud of this collection. He referred to it as his “museum.” Up until 2 years ago when he passed away, every Veterans Day my cousins and I would walk from his apartment in the Bronx to the Funeral home to visit his “museum.” My Grandpa was a proud man, but when he showed us the museum that he helped create, there was a different kind of pride that showed on his face. It was the pride that he was part of something great. And he was! There was nothing, besides his family that meant more to him than serving his country and being a true Patriot.
Memorabilia from all my grandfathers, my uncles and my father are safely protected in that wonderful, memory filled museum. Knowing that I can go there anytime to look at photos and read stories about the men in my family gives me that same sense of pride that my grandfather felt…that I am also part of something!
Today, just as any other Veteran’s day, I will wear my red, white and blue proudly. I will walk tall with my head held high as I observe and give thanks to all the heroes, past and present who serve in the US Military.
But this year my heart feels bigger. I feel a different kind of closeness to my family and to my country. On this #Veteran’s Day, I am remembering all of those who have served, but sending a special thank you to MY soldiers, for they are all true heroes. #MoveYourMtn