Monday, May 25, 2015

Why Memorial Day is so special to me.

There are a number of reasons - some that I can only pull from the periphery of memory, others that are up close and personal.  I can remember attending - every year - the Memorial Day service in Townville, PA.  That is where my father grew up and where my early memories are from.  I remember standing in the middle of the cemetery by the high school listening to speeches from, I assume, WW1, WW 2 and Korean War veterans, because that would be the time period in which I was that age.  I can remember the 21 gun salute - that went on and on and on - and I was terrified because I was just a little kid and at that time, my dad was in the Air Force.  I remember - vaguely - the later times - one, in particular, that my dad spoke.  Perhaps that was after the Vietnam war - I don't remember but I DO remember that I STILL hated the 21 gun salute.  I both love and hate that my dad had a 21 gun salute at his funeral.  And to this day, both taps and that salute make me cry like the 6 year old I was when I first heard it.

We have a new neighbor - a very nice 19-year-old man who was able to purchase a home, has a nice car, a sweet girlfriend and a very polite step-son.  My family and I are happy to have them as neighbors.  But I look at him and what he has accomplished and I think of my oldest daughter when she was that age.  She had been in Fallujah for a little over two months on that Memorial Day.  She was able to call me and I swore I could hear the crack of gunfire over the phone.  How different are those two lives.  All of those young men who were drafted or chose to enlist for the military, especially in Vietnam.  I didn't realize how those boys were mistreated upon their return until my father-in-law told me.  That is beyond anything I can imagine.

So this Memorial Day, I will try to keep it in the front of mind, the reason for this day.  Thank you to all who made the ultimate sacrifice and all who were willng to do so.

1 comment:

Snowbrush said...

I must confess to mixed feelings. We so often go to war when it isn't necessarily, so who is to blame, the politicians alone? How about those who volunteer without any real examination of the reasons for a given war? The best I can say for them is that they are often too young to accept adult responsibility. If we only sent people over 30-35 into combat, it would be darn hard to carry on as we do. Likewise, if we had a draft right now, thousands would be taking to the streets,

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