Like Being In A Movie (or a History book)!

SBW at Simple Words I Understand, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote about watching a barge on the river that somehow reminded me of a memorable experience I had.

When Gunny was a young Marine he was returning from his first six-month tour of duty on a ship and Hubby and I went to meet him when the ship docked.  So, we ended up standing on a dock in Norfolk, Virginia with lots of other military families, watching a huge ship come into port. 

If you have never seen a military ship’s return home, it is a sight to see.  As the ship slowly neared, you could see the railing on the main deck was lined with sailors in their white uniforms, all standing at attention.  A band on the dock was playing patriotic songs including, of course, Anchors Away and the Marine Hymn (ships always have a contingent of Marines as well as sailors).  American flags were being waved.  Some people were waving “Welcome Home” signs.  Smaller children were on shoulders to give them a better view.  And, as the ship got very close, a cheer started from the crowd that quickly swelled into a beautiful cheering roar! 

It was a surreal experience.  It really did feel like we were on a movie set, taking part in a scene like ones I had seen in movies all of my life of families welcoming soldiers home.  And, it made me feel very patriotic and proud and teary. 

It was especially touching to see the young mothers with small children, and see in their faces how thrilled they were to have their husbands back.  And, there were many proud parents like us too.  Lots of unabashed tears in lots of eyes. 

It felt very all-American and, at the same time, timeless.   A scene that has surely been played out millions of time through the course of history. 

A unique experience that I will always remember.

Thank you God, for all the people who serve in our military.  May they always be met with smiles and tears and gratitude for what they do for us.

5 Responses to Like Being In A Movie (or a History book)!

  1. tz says:

    I’ve never gotten to meet my brother’s ‘ship’ but I’m always relieved when he gets home! And yes, thanks to the men and women who serve and may God bless them and their families.

    It’s always the military services at our church (periodically we’ll honor a member who is just coming back or about to go over) and those are the services that make me cry the most!

  2. I get teary-eyed at things like that, too. To be in that crowd must have been very moving – obviously, it was.

  3. Sandra says:

    tz and SBW — It was a memorable event for me. Also, Gunny got to give us a tour of the ship. I found out they are NOT designed for middle-aged women. No stairways — all ladders. Hubby said he hadn’t seen me that quiet in years! That’s because I was just having to concentrate on breathing — no breath left over for talking!

  4. Chrissy says:

    Wow, what an amazing experience!! I can totally understand the teary eyed, and the patriotic feeling. I can feel it while watching it on t.v. it must have been so much more amazing in person!!!

  5. Sandra says:

    Chrissy — Yes, it was amazing. Soo, different in person than when I had seen it on film.

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