Last week, the fine folks of northern Virginia were treated to their first snowflakes of the season. As the weather forecasters say, it was a conversational snow. And it occurred mid-day, so it didn’t screw up traffic….always important around here.
Folks gathered up at the windows and pointed to the flakes. There were a few gasps as the wind whipped it sideways at times. But in general, everybody took it as a marker of the Holiday season to come.
Holiday season, a time to come out of the cold and enjoy good food, good wine, and warmth of company. People gather at family and friends, and at the work place. Suddenly, those ugly sweaters that are only worn during the Holidays are dug out. Bright red ties make their appearance. Some may even have a blinking red light or two!
Voices rise and fall as toasts are made. Stories about past gatherings are swapped. Folks catch up on the latest news. A fire generally crackles in the fireplace as the smell of turkey, ham, and fresh bread blooms out of the kitchen and throughout the house.
But there are moments in our past where the first snow was not the happy memory for some. It wasn’t the first snow, it was one of many. And instead of being inside a warm house, they were frozen. They didn’t argue over the merits of cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly….because they didn’t have any food.
These were the men and women serving in the front lines, defending America against her enemies. From the iconic General Washington at Valley Forge, to Willie and Joe at the Battle of the Bulge and the Devil Dogs of the U.S. Marine Corps at the Chosin Reservoir.
Today, there are men and women serving in snowy and frozen spots around the globe. Without family by their sides or a crackling fireplace to keep them warm, they are already tired of snow and dreading the next months.
So as you raise a glass, or try and catch a snowflake on your tongue, think about why you are able to enjoy these simple pleasures. Remember our service members. We at the Americans in Wartime Museum do.
That is why we are out in the cold turning wrenches. Our breathe hanging heavy in the air. We know what the first snow can mean. We want to preserve that history and honor it. Continue the dream by visiting the website and joining our wonderful supporters so we can “Keep ‘em Rolling” in the snow.
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