Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

Every once in a while I get to participate in something truly amazing.
The Higley Unified School District Veterans Day Event was one of them.

First, let me point out that I love Veterans Day.  I have a handful of veterans in my life {including my brother} and I could not be happier that there's a day dedicated just to them every year.  It strikes a very personal chord with me because I remember precisely how I felt when my brother left home in late 2002 to go into the Navy.  I couldn't believe he was leaving me behind - selfish, I know...I was 16.  As he was traveling around the world and sending stories home (and packets of coins from various countries), I realized that his sacrifice truly was so much bigger than just leaving his sister behind.  He left behind his whole family - his whole life - to serve his country.  He used to play it cool - to him it wasn't a "big deal" - it wasn't such a big "sacrifice".  But it was... and it still is.  I'm constantly reminded of the extraordinary work our military does for us and no matter how long you serve - whether it's 4 years.... or your whole life - we are forever indebted for our freedom.  So, naturally, I jump at any opportunity to show my gratitude.

I was pulled in late in the game to help with some creative work for the HUSD event  More specifically, a bunch of materials had been purchased to make centerpieces and there was some uncertainty of how to put them together.  Being a school event, the budget was tight - so my coworker and I had to tap into our deepest creative bank to find inspiration.  Well, what does a patriotic event always need?  Fireworks, of course.  

We were provided with premade table pieces, mylar bag filler, round red place mats and plastic star ornaments.  At first, we were at a loss for what we could make - but once inspiration hit, we were off like a rocket.  Just add white gift bags (trimmed) and floral foam - bam!  You have yourself a firework centerpiece.  
You have to love a day when you can bring your glue gun to work.
Baby you're a fiiiiiiirewooooork...
The finished product.

Naturally, when one gets pulled into an event, your job rarely ends when you complete your task.  I played the role of "catch-all" the day before the event and during.  I was so happy to contribute.  Here are some of the pictures from the event set-up.

The morning of the event came quickly and let me tell you - they did this event right.  We had parachuters delivering the flags.
The American Legion was out in full-force with their awesome motorcycles.
And a huge portion of the Higley High School student body came out to join the veterans and the public for the ceremony - which added a very touching community feel to the entire day.  A huge number of students also volunteered throughout the day - and these kids were incredible!  Could not have been prouder of the kids at this school.

And people loved the centerpieces, which is a huge plus.  :)

It's events like this that make me so happy to live in America.  While freedom is not free, there are many who are happy to serve to protect those freedoms.  I never tire of telling military personnel past and present "Thank You".  They are so grateful for recognition and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to show my eternal gratitude - win, win.  I hope this Veterans Day you too have the opportunity to thank our every day protectors face-to-face.  They certainly deserve it.

Thank you to those who have served, are serving and will serve.
You'll never truly know how much it is appreciated.

And thank you to my brother for being my real life hero.

Helicopters taking off are cool at any age.

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