By R.V. Baugus
Somehow back in the day when we had an extra writer or two on the IAVM staff I ended up being the “obit guy.” Whenever we got word of an IAVM member’s passing, the call always came to me to follow up and write the obituary. I actually enjoyed the responsibility, even if it was in reporting some sad news for family and friends left to mourn a death. It gave me an opportunity to find out some more about the deceased, to gain some insight into his or her past and background.
More times than I can count, that discovery led to finding out that the person had served in some military capacity. It was not unusual to read that someone had gotten started in this industry only to leave it to serve the country and eventually return back to the public assembly venue industry.
What greater honor could a writer have than sharing the story of those who fight for our freedom and protect our country?
We are also an industry where the words War Memorial pop up frequently in venue names. In our IAVM membership alone, we have individuals from the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN, and War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Do any Internet search on venues with War Memorial in the name and you will find them all over the map.
All this comes to mind as another Veteran’s Day has come and gone in the United States. The day is one for reflection and to offer thanks to those who have and who do serve. While we wait for the next Veteran’s Day in 2020, I would suggest to not think of this as a one-day event, but on every occasion we have when we encounter a veteran to say thank you and offer kindness, which as fate has it came National Kindness Day right after Veteran’s Day.
I think back to my father-in-law who served aboard a Naval minesweeper named the USS Density in World War II. He passed away some five years ago and I regret not picking his brain more to know about everything he saw while in the Pacific. Some, I know, would churn my stomach, but when I think of him I think of the bravest of the brave.
As it relates to World War II, most who served are now deceased and most surviving are in their 90’s. If you have the opportunity still to sit down with one of these true heroes, please do, tell them thank you again, and ask what you can do for them after so much they have done for all of us.