November is traditionally a thankful month. We celebrate our family, friends, farmers and vendors with delicious food and beverages on Thanksgiving Day, but earlier in the month we have a special day to honor those who fought to keep our free country free. This 11/11, I had the honor and pleasure to serve many of our veterans coffee provided by Honest Weight, and cider donuts provided by Cider Belly Donuts, 25 Pearl Street, Albany. Thank you, HWFC and Cider Belly!
I had my dad “with me” at the table, in the form of two pictures of him in his World War II Army uniform. He served in the Southeast-Asian China/India/Burma Theater, driving medical supply trucks on the Burma Road. My dad was from Brooklyn. I’m proud that he rose to the rank of captain with only a high school education. He had a very close relationship with his Army chaplain, and continued to correspond with him until the chaplain’s death. Other than that, he would never discuss what he saw or experienced. He was very proud to be a veteran and always said that this country was the greatest in the world.
Two of my first veterans to the table were working in our store: Tom DiGiovanni as a Courtesy Clerk, and Adam in the Meat Department. Thank you!
I also spoke with many people who had dads and grandads and brothers and sons and uncles and aunts and sisters and moms who served. Some reminiscences people shared with me were tragic–one woman told me her dad was in World War II and did not come back, and another woman tearfully told me she had a friend in Vietnam who did not come back. One man said he fully supported veterans, but he hated war.
Most importantly, many, many shoppers walked past the table and nodded at our “Thank You Veterans” table.
That day, we all remembered and gave thanks.