The Moving Wall recently visited Eugene, OR and I had the privilege of participating in the planning of its visit with us. I also had the honor of reading names from The Wall on two different occasions and worked a shift on the computer obtaining the location of their loved ones’ name on The Wall. Moving, humbling, proud and grateful are all adjectives that ran rampant through my heart and soul as I participated during the four-day visit.

Juanita Metzler doing a rubbing of The Moving Wall at Skinner Butte Park

Mistakenly I thought that working a shift on the computer would be a snap – how difficult could it be to look up the names of loved ones? DIFFICULT! With each person who entered the Army tent to ask for assistance came a story of who their loved one was. I learned about sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, cousins, classmates and friends who impacted lives 50 years ago and that impact is still strong today.  

Later as I read their names I thought of the stories that I had been told about them, the humorous pranks they liked to do, the acts of courage that cost them their life but saved others, and the unfulfilled hopes of their loved ones. Mostly I felt love for the people that I never had the opportunity to meet. As I found the name of my own friend on The Wall, I silently stood before his name and said thank you.

So this Veterans Day I say thank you to all of our Veterans, living and deceased. You have and continue to make a difference in the lives of Americans.  Thank you.