Memorial Day 2015

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery, May 24, 2015

Growing up as the daughter of a career US Army Officer…military holidays were marked with much pomp and circumstance. Depending on the event there would be parades, ceremonies, wreath laying, reading of names, the playing of taps, demonstrations by the soldiers, flyovers, military band concerts, etc. We always were immersed in the true meaning of the holiday. I thought everyone lived that way.

As an adult living in the civilian world, I find that it’s easy for us to “forget” why we have this long weekend. We are bombarded with retail sales events, as the unofficial start to summer – people head to the beach or the lake, there are many outdoor family gatherings and BBQ’s. We need to be intentional about remembering and honoring the reason for this extra day off.

Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those who died for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. I hope each and every American will pause and reflect on this at some point today. And be grateful.

My husband and I drove out to the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery yesterday. It’s a beautiful, serene setting in the rolling hills of TN. We happened to arrive while a Memorial Day Ceremony was happening at the main buildings. We drove through the cemetery in peace and quiet, marveling at the beauty of the American flags adorning each and every grave. The main thoroughfare had larger flags waving in the breeze. It was a beautiful, yet somber sight. Families were visiting individual graves. Some of those graves are fresh. The reason for the holiday was abundantly clear. Some gave all. Some didn’t come home.

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It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.   ~ General George S. Patton

May God Bless America!

YOLO!

-Jan

Because of you…

I’ve been reflecting this weekend on the true meaning of Memorial Day. It was NOT created just so we’d have a long holiday weekend to kick off the summer season. I grew up as an Army brat and spent many Memorial Day’s on parade fields with military celebrations and picnics. I ran across this poem which says it well:

Because of you we can get up every morning and go to work run errands at lunch time drive through McDonald’s fill up our gas tanks and make it back to work just in time

Because of you we don’t have houses we have homes where we walk through the door the dog jumps on us as do our children we hug our spouses and smell dinner cooking

Because of you we have artwork from Kindergarten and shopping lists hanging on the refrigerator along with pictures held up with tape or magnets school pictures, pictures of gramma and grampa pictures of babies, kittens, and teenagers dressed for the prom

Because of you we gather around the dinner table play in the backyard with our kids feed the cat, walk the dog splash water on our children in the tub then tuck them into bed with hugs and kisses and reassurance there are no monsters in closets or under beds

Because of you with the children asleep and the dishes all done men make love to their wives wives make love to their husbands and drift off to sleep intertwined feeling life is good, all is well and we are safe

Because of you we are safe we can sit in fields watching our kids play soccer or in the stands watching our kids play hockey we can grill hamburgers and hot dogs eat potato salad and cole slaw drink ice cold beer and play pool while the kids run through sprinklers

Because of you we must remember to have a moment of silence on Memorial Day to remember your sacrifice and your family’s and to thank you that we get to live these lives sometimes eventful, sometimes uneventful but always full of possibilities

Because of you
This poem is by Lisa Milligan, a writer that lives in Fairfax, VA.

http://www.uso.org/About-Us/News-and-Stories/USO-News-Archive/-The-Ultimate-Sacrifice-.aspx

While you’re at it…consider joining the USO – a private organization, recognized by our government with the mission of “lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families”.

May God bless America and the troops who keep us free.

YOLO!

Jan