Veterans Day 2002

November 5, 2002

November 5, 2002

November 11 is Veterans' Day. There is no better time than right now to honor our veterans that have fought. Some have given their lives for their country -- the U.S. We find ourselves at war with terrorists and on the brink of conflict with Iraq.

I walked beside the solemn gray wall of the Vietnam Memorial last week. I want to read a note written by Jennifer Denard, daughter of Captain William A. Branch whose name can be found on Panel 9 West, Line 18. He died June 6, 1970.

Each year I dream of what I would buy you for Father's Day, Dad. I scour the racks for the perfect card or present, and I buy it in my mind. I wish we could be together today. Just once. I would sit here with you at this Wall and listen and hug and love you.

I don't remember you. I was too young when you died. But in my heart, I know you, Dad. I have read your letters and talked to your friends. I have learned more from you, despite your death, than I have in a lifetime of schooling. Your lessons to me are evident. They are gifts to me, Dad, that I treasure.

Thank you for loving Mom so much -- for writing to her every day from that war. Lessons on how a man should treat a woman. Thank you for making me feel loved -- for taking time to write me a letter before you died that day. Thank you for teaching me about conviction and bravery -- for volunteering twice to go and fight for what is right. You were the first in your family to graduate from college. You wanted to make the world safer. You wanted to end communism. I am proud of you, Dad. I appreciate you. And I try hard to be like you. This is my gift to you. I love you.

Little Miss Jen.

Our gratitude to all our veterans cannot be expressed any better than what I have just read. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.