Posted: October 13, 2021

BG Parkes

Thankful and Mindful Thinking

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment. It often develops through meditation or other training, though techniques and definitions are wide-ranging. It can be used to reduce stress, depression, or anxiety. Some even believe it helps with weight management, athletic performance, and children with special needs. Some people just say that it helps them “center” themselves.
As I think back over my life and the people who have come into it, a vision of our military and police immediately pops up. Of course, there are other things like family and business, but the military and police are at the forefront. It could be because it’s November. We celebrate both Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving this month.
Veteran’s Day is celebrated on November 11 each year. Some refer to it as Armistice Day, as it is the day that armistice was signed to end World War I in 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It is a day set aside to honor all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Ever walked by a veteran and not known what to say? People tell me they don’t know how to show their appreciation. Sometimes people just stare and wonder. For those of us who did not serve, it may be hard to know what goes through a veteran’s mind. Perhaps they have moments of sadness, comradery, and glory.
I personally reach out to try to make a difference and show that I care. Some things that anyone can do are:
Fly the American flag correctly.
Show up at an event to honor veterans – maybe a parade or picnic. Remember the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is for those that have passed, and Veterans Day is for those still with us. Include a veteran on an outing, i.e. fishing, golf, visiting a state or national park, or a veteran’s club.
Cook or purchase a meal for a veteran.
Or just sit and talk with them. One may very well learn something. Don’t be scared to let them share a story. If nothing else, walk up and say thanks. I have on many occasions walked into a restaurant and bought them a cup of coffee or tea or even lunch and then gone by the table and said, “thank you for your service!”.
There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe the gratitude I have for the men and women of our armed forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice. These heroes have given us our freedom. Because of their service, we are the country we are today. When a soldier signs their enlistment papers, they never know if they will see their loved ones again. May God bless them all.
Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada, a similar holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October. It commemorates a harvest festival held by the Pilgrims in 1621. Although today, for most of us, it is more about family and a huge meal, including a delicious turkey. I personally wish everyone a most Happy Thanksgiving. I pray your family can all be with you and that it is a joyous occasion.
On one final note, anyone in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama who is a Gold Star Family Member please send an email to me at
We are planning a very special event on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, and are bringing in people from all directions in Florida to meet at the Bushnell National Cemetery for a special ceremony to thank all Gold Star Families. Everyone is welcome to attend this, and you will not want to miss this honoring event to say, Thank You!

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