For those New Yorkers who were here in the weeks following 9/11, one memory sticks out: whenever a fire truck passed, people on the street would stop and clap. The NYFD laid their lives on the line—many gave their lives—to help people stuck in the Towers. Each and every member deserved that applause.
I was reminded of that flying into Atlanta not too long ago. When I walked through the terminal, there was a group that, whenever there was a solider in uniform, would clap. It was uplifting to see.
And a little shaming.
Why don’t we remember more often that there’s a group of people who, for little pay and virtually no recognition, daily put their lives on the line for us? I’m ashamed to admit that when I see a soldier in uniform—including last night, there was an Army major on my plane—I often have the urge to thank them, or clap. I don’t. Last night was especially shaming because the guy sitting next to me said “thanks for your service.”
How difficult is that? “Thanks for your service.”
We can’t—I can’t—take for granted the sacrifice our soldiers, sailors, and Marines make on a regular basis. Because they are out there risking their lives, we’re free to live ours here.
So thank you. For all the times I’ve neglected to say it, thank you. For all that you do, thank you. For keeping me and my family safe, thank you.