Thank You

My Dedication to a Retiring Soldier

Portrait of a Bald Eagle by Elie Wolf 10.8.16

You should have heard the gasps and sighs in the crowd when this bird emerged the other day at Animal Kingdom. Talk about a commanding presence. It literally gave me chills as it turned its head, scanning the crowd with some essence of “knowing” that we mere humans could not grasp. It felt like it was looking down on us, but not in a condescending way, more as if a giant, powerful savior of sorts had emerged and could pull us from whatever trench we were in. He was Superman and we were the little people in the burning building. He was big and we were little — without a doubt. He knew it. This amazing animal entranced me in awe with its startling look of penetrating intention.

When they brought him out, they mentioned the symbol of “American freedom” and of course I couldn’t help but think of my dear friend who is currently retiring from decades of service. The things he and his family have sacrificed for this country, I’m sure many of us will never know, and cannot imagine. But I do know this. I have admiration for them that would be difficult to match.

So I dedicate this portrait of an American bald eagle to him, in thanks to him, and his family, for their many years of service to this country. I’m so proud to call him friend, and I look so forward to the next chapter in their lives where I know they will continue doing amazing work for this country.

Dear friend and soldier, thank you so very much. Not a day goes by that I take for granted the freedoms that we have, and it does not escape me that you, and other service men and women put yourselves in harm’s way on behalf of the rest of us.

Godspeed on the rest of your journey, and may the individuals that sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears on behalf of our nation be blessed and held safe.