December 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
Written By Phil Vollrath
Since this is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the day the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor and as a result entered World War II, it is fitting that both the Armed Forces Week Committee (on which I serve) and the Rotary Military and Veterans Support Committee (which I co-chair) are meeting today to plan events and commitments for next year. As a veteran and former Navy reservist myself, I commemorate this day with sadness, but also feel it can strengthen us as we prepare for our future.
In a related manner, I was privileged to welcome home our WW II Vets (including my wife’s uncle) at the airport as they returned from visiting their memorial in Washington, D.C. aboard the Honor Flight a few weeks ago. My wife’s father (deceased) and uncle served in that war, making this an even more memorable and exciting event. I will never forget the excitement and joy of the hundreds of people, all ages, as they gathered to express their Welcome Home! And show their appreciation to these Veterans for their service and sacrifice as they left the gate.
But it doesn’t end with showing appreciation for military service alone. It also means taking on personal responsibility for planning for the future (instead of just leaving it to others), remaining ever vigilant regarding threats to our security, never again being complacent, accepting responsibility for the livelihood of others and not just ourselves, keeping up-to-date on what is going on around us, and remembering always to see the world through the eyes of others including, yes our enemies, but also family members, friends, clients, customers and competitors! It means eliminating surprises except for birthdays, holidays and weddings, and being proactive in all of our thoughts and actions. It means not leaving concerns for our security, protection of our freedom and meeting the needs of family, friends and customers to others, but taking these responsibilities upon ourselves so that ultimately we can say, “Yes, I have done all that I could, and I feel good for doing so.”