Today is my dad's birthday. When he was growing up, he thought the Veteran's Day parades were in honor of his birthday.
My dad is my hero. He was born in China during WWII, fled with his family when the Communists took over, and grew up in post-war Hong Kong as my grandparents re-established a life for the family. He came to a little town in Iowa (not a bastion of overseas Chinese even today, and even less so in 1960) as a fifteen-year old college student, knowing no one and having virtually nothing. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps and eventually graduated with two masters degrees, in physics and electrical engineering, sending money home to Hong Kong the whole while.
Through his hard work and natural talent he had a great career at 3M (whenever you look up at a power pole in the US, you're probably seeing the Quick-Term II or III that he designed), made a great life for his family, and put two of us through Stanford debt-free. He always had time to play with us and our friends (my high school friends still imitate the sounds my dad made playing soccer), always made time to help us with homework (although he's so good at math that he had a hard time understanding why I didn't get stuff), and is a good husband to my mom. He set a high bar for me as a father, husband, and employee. He set a high bar for me as a man.
Anyway, he and my mom are enjoying their retirement now in Las Vegas, playing golf, getting points in local casinos to redeem for free food and stuff, and spending time with friends. He's earned it.
For me, I think my dad was right: the Veteran's Day parades are for him. Happy birthday, old man!