Veteran’s Day is a time set out for us all to remember how fortunate we are for the privileges we often take for granted. It is a day to remember the countless lives that have been lost in the attempt to secure the freedom we were so freely given. And it is a day to show appreciation to all those who have fought and are still with us.
How does one show their appreciation to someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice by risking their life?
On November 10th the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, staying true to their commitment to the community, demonstrated their gratitude by extending a warm invitation to approximately 100 veterans and active duty service members by hosting a luncheon at the St.Pete Times Forum.
After the guests had taken their seats in the Channelside Club dining room, it was to their utmost delight that the table’s empty spots were then filled by members of the Tampa Bay Lightning team. As the two groups joined for a meal, the players listened attentively as they were told stories of life in active duty.
Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos, two of hockey’s on-ice heroes, listened respectfully and attentively to the tales of true heroics performed by our country’s guardians.
After the meal had completed and the group had been addressed by members of the Lightning organization, the players were not willing to part with their new found friends. The conversation did not let up as players willingly autographed many pieces of memorabilia for their guests.
While the time spent may pale in comparison to the great sacrifice that has been made by our troops, the light-hearted afternoon shared between the two groups will be one of remembrance.
By example the Lightning organization acts as a beacon to how we all can show our appreciation to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, through our time and our respect. A couple autographed jersey’s probably couldn’t hurt.