Friday, December 10, 2010

The World War Veteran and the Candlelight Processional

Mark, 42, Williamstown, MI

Disney Dreams Come TrueAs a Midwestern farm family, my wife and I have taken our kids to Disney World between Thanksgiving and Christmas a few times when the 100-hour-plus work weeks are over. My wife had always wanted to see the Candlelight Processional, but we always passed it up for more "exciting" events for our kids. Finally one year we went ahead and ordered the dinner package with reserved seats for the processional.

A friend and her daughter ended up going to Walt Disney World with us last minute. After dinner our kids went with our friend instead of to the processional, leaving us with two extra reserved seats. The standby line for that evening's performance was very long, with many seniors standing in line. I walked along the line looking for a deserving couple of senior citizens to give our two extra seats to. I was looking for a veteran proudly wearing his cap or jacket showing his service to the country, who had likely spent a Christmas in a foxhole in snow-covered Europe, Korea, or in a hot jungle in southeast Asia or the Pacific.

I found my couple ... "World War II vintage." They were elated to be able to go sit down and get a seat. They thanked me profusely to the point of embarrassment -- but he understood when I said; "No sir - thank you." During the performance, while the choir was singing "Do you see what I see ... a star a star shining in the night," we were able to see the space shuttle far in the distance rising in the sky during a night launch.

The unfolding of events that night will truly be one of my fondest memories of Disney. I share this experience in the hope that others will do something similar. Why not buy a couple of extra Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tickets and hand them to a veteran as day Guests are headed out? It will put the Christmas spirit in you like little else can!

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