Veterans Day Behind the Scenes

It is no secret that Huntsville is a patriotic community. Due to the presence of the Army and the huge number of veterans that live in the area, we are all about saluting Soldiers and anyone who has protected our nation. But I truly did not realize what went into planning the Veterans Day festivities until I went to work for the Redstone Rocket newspaper. Because in Huntsville, we don't celebrate Veterans Day, we celebrate Veterans WEEK.

About a week before Veterans Day, the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Partner Program series kicks off the events. Once a year for eleven years  -- the length of the Vietnam War -- a commemorative event with speaker is held to honor local Vietnam vets. It is especially poignant as the country was a very different place in the '70s. Think about the support that our nation's military receives today: the parades and welcome home celebrations at airports, the quilts and care packages and school projects for our deployed troops. They received none of that. I attended the event last year and was educated. Side note: when a Medal of Honor awardee tells you that he likes your shoes, it is an interesting day. Col. Thorsness was a charmer, I tell you.

Veterans Week is our busiest week of the year. It is part of the reason that I have a larger than normal amount of red, white and blue dress clothes in my closet. My last event of Veterans Week was the Patriot Mosaic this afternoon. Number two in a planned series of ten, the local EarlyWorks Family of Museums again created a giant mosaic image, consisting of 1296 5 in. by 5in. pictures of service members. Mosaic tile FF25 is close to my heart.

My dad is wearing the Air Force uniform in the middle.

Watching all of the family members point toward their service member and smile and take photos with their images ... I might have teared up. It makes me so very proud. Proud of my dad,  proud of my job and proud of my community.

Army Strong. Happy Veterans Day.