The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 6, 2012

Celebrate the veterans

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News & Eagle

— Do you celebrate our veterans who protect our country? Think about it.

Jim had the privilege to speak to the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) ladies this past week. He told of his own service in World War II (hoping they did not think he was actually a veteran of The Revolutionary War). All of those ladies trace their heritage to someone who participated in the War for Independence. They all have documentation of direct descendants who had something to do with either fighting for our country or writing the constitution.

The American creed is something we all should adopt and follow: “I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its constitution; to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

The DAR’s objective is to perpetuate the memory and the spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; to promote the development of an enlightened public opinion, and to foster patriotic citizenship.

I, as a guest with Jim, was impressed with their involvement with current veterans who have recently served or are now serving our country. They had many, many ongoing projects to let dedicated servicemen and women know they are not forgotten and that they are appreciated.

We should extend our gratitude to all those who have served and are now serving our nation in the cause of freedom. We thank them and their families for sacrifice and service. While they are in harm’s way, we must thank them and give them a place of honor in our hearts. Together, we must not let their service (nor their stories) be forgotten.

For several years, Jim has joined other veterans attending assemblies at Taft School and others. Jim always reminds the students and teachers and families to ask their parents, grandparents, uncles and others who served or are now serving to document the stories of their service. The stories are sometimes sad, sometimes heroic, sometimes funny, but they all give us a picture of what war was really like.

About ten percent of those serving in the Armed Services actually are involved in battle, but everyone who serves plays a role in freedom. Everyone has a job to do and does it without complaining, because they volunteered to serve their country.

During World War II, everyone was involved, because we had rationing of sugar, tires, gasoline, even shoes. We all raised victory gardens. We ate that awful oleo instead of butter so our service personnel could eat well. We all gladly sacrificed and were involved in victory for our country. Now, I feel we are not involved enough and rely on television to give out the information about wartime. It seems to be “over there” and not involve us. Well, we should be affected by war. We should be more involved, like the Blue Star Mothers and the DAR.

Every family has at least one member who is serving now, or has served in the military.

We salute them and appreciate their sacrifice for the country they love. Regardless of how we feel about the wars we are in, the military men and women are simply carrying out orders and protecting their country for their families and others.

Veterans Day was set aside to honor veterans who had served in previous wars. However, now we honor all who have served in any war involving our country. These veterans we honor are in every branch of armed services who serve their country with pride. They have the quiet dignity of men and women who know the price of freedom. Veterans, more than anyone else, love peace. They know the price of war. They love this country.

There cannot be enough said or done for the veterans who fought to keep America free.

We must never forget those who gave the supreme sacrifice of their lives in tribute to the country they love. They must be honored and remembered and revered.

During World War II, many women who had never worked outside the home went to work in war plants. Women did the jobs on the home front that men usually did, freeing the men to go to war. The entire country was in turmoil, but we all worked together to support our troops and our government’s stand on defending our nation and democracy. Everyone was eager to do their part, kids and adults alike. Everything we did had our service people in mind.

At our house, we celebrate Veterans Day and the Marine Corps’ birthday with a party. This year, we honor the 237th year of the founding of the Marine Corps. Even through we will not be attending a formal birthday party with its cake-cutting ceremony and ball, we will have a celebration, but this year it will be very casual, but meaningful.

Autumn simply demands that we cook something with pumpkin, apples, or cranberries. The house smells so festive and inviting with something in the oven. Right now, I am hungry for this scrumptious dessert with a dollop of ice cream.

Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, peeled and chopped

3⁄4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix and pour into 8-by-8-inch baking dish. In separate bowl, mix:

1⁄2 cup oatmeal

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1⁄2 cup flour

1⁄8 teaspoon soda

1⁄4 cup melted butter

Mix topping and sprinkle over apples. Bake for 30 minutes in 350-degree oven.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.