War and Remembrance and the Stars

Veteran’s Day, 2009

J. H. Collins, proud veteran of the U.S. Army
J. H. Collins, proud veteran of the U.S. Army
Sunspots, with the Earth for a size reference.
Sunspots, with the Earth for a size reference.

Today, I’m going to write about a man who served his country. If it wasn’t for him and the other men and women who give of themselves through military service, I think that many of the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States wouldn’t exist. We might not even have the kind of space program we do. And, most personally, I owe my own interest and love of astronomy to a man who served his country more than 50 years ago and is still alive today to talk about it. He first went to Korea in the early 50s; he did his duty, suffered injuries, but came home safe and alive. And, spent the next decades raising a family — including me.

If he hadn’t taken me out to see the stars as a child, nor enc0uraged me to think about space, or come with me to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, or looked the other way when I pulled some truly stupid stunts in high school, or subtly pushed me to stay in college, or sent me frequent reminders of sunspot appearances, or sent me emails about solar flares, or any of the other things he’s done over the years to keep me pointed toward the sky, I wouldn’t be the writer and producer I am today. That guy is, of course, my dad.  And, he’s a military veteran.

So, today, this one’s for you, Daddy.  We love you and we’re proud of your service. There’s no way any of us in this country can thank you enough for the sacrifices you made — but we’ll keep trying.  Happy Veteran’s Day!

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One Response to War and Remembrance and the Stars

  1. Thanks for the wonderful tribute – - Mom and Dad