Today is Veterans Day and for most of us, we recognize this holiday as just that – a holiday. And that’s something worth noting. With any holiday we “celebrate”, it’s for a significant reason. For Thanksgiving, we take our freed time to reflect on what we ought to be thankful for in our lives. For Christmas, we take the vacation time to reflect on Jesus Christ and his significance in our world. With Veterans Day, we ought to take a moment in our free time to reflect on our armed forces veterans and what made them worth celebrating.
As some of you know, “Uncle Walt” Disney himself (seen above) served in the American Red Cross as an ambulance driver for wounded troops in World War I. Although he didn’t see combat, he made sure to make his fellow troops spirits were high by drawing cartoons. It certainly brought a sense of happiness to those troops when the situations they were in called for no happiness at all. Little did he know that his contributions would forever make an impact on those troops and their families and their families’ families lives as it all indeed start with a Mouse just a few years later.
Today, not only is Walt’s organization continuing to serve veterans and their families through entertainment, but also through giving them a chance at living a regular life through a job. As what was announced last year, The Walt Disney Company has started the “Heroes Work Here” initiative that has and will continue to provide jobs and careers for veterans in different roles across the organization. On a large scale, this certainly is a way to honor our veterans…but how can we as individuals?
Well, if you’re at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, there is a way that you can do that every day. The Flag Retreat Ceremony on Main Street USA is often overlooked by many while visiting, but it happens to be one of the most intimate and heartfelt things you can experience at a Disney Park. As the sunsets, so does the flag usually with the help of veterans who are visiting the parks for the day. They are recognized by branch of service (i.e. Marines, Navy, Army, Coast Guard) and a rousing round of applause from the small group that gathers for the ceremony every day.
And this ceremony doesn’t happen just on Veterans Day! It happens every day, so make it a point to watch it and thank a veteran while you’re there because not only did they allow you to take a holiday from regular life, but allowed you to live the free life you live today.
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If you’re a veteran and read this publication, we hope we’re making life a little bit more enjoyable through what we do here…just like Walt did all those years ago. I’d like to personally thank you for your service on behalf of the rest of the staff at DisneyExaminer.