Professionals across different fields help make our lives easier, safer, and more comfortable. We tend to forget that through their service, we are able to go from day to day happy and healthy. For instance, when we feel physical discomfort, physicians and nurses are there to help address the problem through expert diagnosis, assisted recovery, and uninterrupted medical attention. Establishments are safe because of security personnel, and traveling with ease is possible through professional drivers, pilots, flight attendants, and more. These are just few of the many people we unintentionally take for granted.
War veterans are perfect examples of individuals who deserve our utmost respect and appreciation. For years, they have made the ultimate sacrifice by putting their lives on the line just for our freedom and safety. They face homesickness, adjust to different timezones, and try their best to stay connected with their loved ones. We are able to enjoy peace and comfort in our country because of their dedication and service. For this very reason, there are people who go out of their way to extend gratitude towards veterans they come across as they go about their day.
It is heartwarming to see people making others feel appreciated, just like the mutual exchange of affection between some of the runners in a charity race and a World War II veteran who was outside cheering them on. Some of the participants of the race met his encouragement with appreciative nods and smiles, but some took a detour to shake his hand and thank him not for his support but for his sacrifice and dedication. The gesture made the old veteran beam, proving that simple acts of kindness leave a lasting impact.
The veteran's intention was simple: to watch the runners and urge them to keep going by clapping and cheering them on. He had no idea the sweet gesture would be reciprocated, and with so much more. Never mind that the runners who went out of their way to shake his hand would be held back a few places in the race - the important part was the priceless moment that would stay with them forever.
From warm smiles to friendly waves, to detours, handshakes, and short but sweet small talk, the runners of the San Jose charity race and the war veteran prove that compassion and gratitude build bridges.