Monday, September 12, 2016

Flags of Valor

September 11, 2016 marked the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. Like many people, I can remember exactly what I was doing when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I was eating breakfast and watching The Today Show, which was unusual for me. When they showed the footage of the plane, I thought that the pilot had made a grave error. As I watched live while the second plane hit the other tower, I knew we were under attack. Each year on 9/11 communities around the country honor the memories of those who died that day, and St. Louis is no exception.

veteran playing taps
At Art Hill in Forest Park a group called America's Heartland Remembers organized a display of over 7,000 flags, paying tribute to the military men and women who have died fighting the War on Terror since the 9/11/2001 attacks on America. The flags were placed in chronological order by date of death. Attached to each pole were a photo and dog tags of the soldier who died. The sight of all these flags, the eerie sound of the dog tags chiming in the breeze, and the veteran playing taps all brought into perspective how devastating this war has been.

Flags of Valor

flowers with flags
As I was photographing this flag with the yellow flowers at its base, a woman moved beside me and began to cry. That flag stood for her nephew, one of three flags that held photos of young men she knew personally. As they were grouped together, I imagine that they died in the same conflict. My tears joined hers as I grieved for all these young men and women who would never have the opportunity to live long, full lives. I gave her a hug, expressed my condolences, and prayed for the families of these fallen soldiers as well as those still fighting to keep America free. We are blessed in so many ways in this country, and it is because of people like these soldiers that we can continue to count our blessings each day. What a fitting way to honor them.

Switching subjects, I'll give a quick Kirby update. He had his second followup visit with Dr. M. last Thursday. The vet felt like the incisions were healing well, and he did not feel any new lumps in Kirby's abdomen, which is great news. Kirby also gained back an additional pound, so that was positive as well. Dr. M. asked if we had decided what to do about seeing an oncologist, and I told him that Kirby is scheduled to see Dr. S. on the 22nd of this month. I said we want to know what to expect with mast cell cancer, and also see if any additional treatment makes sense at this point.

Kirby & Jim
Other than that, Kirby is eating and sleeping well, and we are back to our three walks a day. We are hoping he is one of the good statistics!

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Poignant post. Each one of those flags represented a life that mattered, and it is so sad and overwhelming to realize that over 7,000 families grieve every day, plus the families that lost a loved one in the 9-11 attacks.

Thanks for the Kirby update, proving that dog's lives matter also. Glad he is doing well!