America – Our Native Land
Written by Earl A. Luther, Concordia Haven Apartment resident
America the beautiful … America the brave
Our native homeland from our cradle to our grave.
We fell in love with her – and all her gifts galore
We loved her in peacetime and especially in war.
We discarded our civilian clothes and donned the G.I. gear
And headed off to battle – with sorrow and some fear.
In speeches, songs and poetry, we mention her each day
And boast and brag of her – and sometimes, we even pray
That GOD will hold her tightly cradled in HIS arms,
And keep her safe and sound from everything that harms.
Sometimes we tend to forget how fortunate we are,
To have America as our own bright and shining star
For all the world to see and long for to be their own
Bright star to brag about – and not to cry or moan.
For this is … our America to have and to hold
And if need be: to give up all we have,
Like the Patriots of old.
Written by Erin Ryan, submitted by Concordia at the Orchard resident Norma Laughner
Red and White with 13 stripes,
Reminds us of our past;
The colonies so long ago,
Some thought they’d never last.
And then the stars, although they’ve changed,
For the states, both old and new.
On a field of blue, they’re fifty strong,
A home for me and you.
So, wave your flag,
And show your pride and never let if fall;
And remember why we pledge each day
With liberty and justice for all.
What is a Veteran?
Written by Anonymous, submitted by Concordia of the South Hills resident Sandy Albert
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them, a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
A vet is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.
A vet is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
A vet is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
A vet is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back at all.
A vet is the drill instructor who has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account punks and gang members into Marines, Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Coast Guardsmen, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.
A vet is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
A vet is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass by.
A vet is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.
A vet is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket, aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
A vet is an ordinary and yet extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of life’s most vital years in the service of America, and who sacrificed ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
A vet is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness and is nothing more that the finest, greatest testimony of behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say, “Thank you.” That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, “Thank you.”
So together we say … “THANK YOU!”
Be sure to have a safe and happy Independence Day, and don’t forget to check in on your senior loved ones!
For more information about our senior care communities and services at our locations in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Tampa, Florida, visit our locations map or call our headquarters any time at 724-352-1571. You can also message us through our online contact form.