Taking the New York City subway every day, I’ve seen it all.
I’ve seen a passenger paint portraits of fellow riders.
I’ve seen another passenger squeeze a huge couch into the subway car but then couldn’t get it out.
I’ve seen someone, dressed as a chicken, play the ukelele.
I’ve seen a group of breakdancers doing backflips on a moving subway during rushhour.
Yet in all these subway situations, no one blinked. No one moved. No one even snapped a photo. It was just a typical NYC subway ride.
But recently, I was on the subway when a Marine in full dress uniform stepped into the car. He was decorated with many medals and honors.
This time, some one blinked. Another person moved. Passengers began to pay attention to him.
This Marine made even the most jaded of New Yorker turn their head, look up from their newspaper and even take the headphones out from their ears.
But no one said anything to the Marine…. until we reached our next stop, that is.
Someone exiting the car said to him, “Thanks, man”. Another passenger then leaned over to him and said, “My father was in the Marines”.
At the next stop, yet another passenger greeted the Marine by saying, “Thanks for serving.”
Someone else smiled at the Marine and remarked, “We appreciate you.”
With each recognition and thanks given to this Marine, he smiled and graciously nodded his head in acknowledgment.
I was overwhelmed with pride in witnessing the outpouring of gratitude that was given to this serviceman. And I know he was too.
Unfortunately, the Marine left the subway car before I could also share in my appreciation for his duty….
So today, as we celebrate Veterans Day here in the U.S., I’d like to say thank you to him and to all those men and women who serve and have served this country…. and all countries!