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

Memorial Day 2014…honoring the intent of the holiday…

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the US Armed Forces men and women who have died in service of the United States of America. The holiday, celebrated on the last Monday of May, was originally called Decoration Day and began after the Civil War to commemorate they Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the war. This has since been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in military service.

Today, in honor of Memorial Day, my husband (US Army veteran) and I visited the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. It is a beautiful cemetery, surrounded by the rolling hills of middle TN. There were many people visiting graves, driving through the cemetery, walking through the graves, even a group holding a memorial service by the grave of their loved one. It was a touching visit.

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

Happy Memorial Day and may God continue to bless the United States of America and those who serve to keep us free!

Yolo!

-Jan

Memorial Day soapbox…

For those of you that don’t know…I am an “Army Brat”…my dad was a career “lifer” and retired from the US Army when I was about to graduate from high school. I’ve always said my blood runs OD green. That’s “olive drab” for those of you not in the know. My brother followed in my father’s footsteps and became a career soldier himself – he retired in 2010.

I am very proud of both of them…but this post is not about honoring them…the picture is simply to provide you with my personal military lineage. The manner in which I grew up, living on military posts, moving with my father’s change in assignments, living through my father’s deployments and tdy’s, all are woven into the fabric of “me”. I spent many a military holiday on parade fields witnessing how our military honors it’s members.

I love to see posts on facebook and twitter honoring our military members. They have and do collectively provide great service and sacrifice for our country and our freedoms; however, I become dismayed when it is apparent that the general American public does not understand our military related holidays.

This weekend, is “Memorial Weekend”, Monday, May 28th of this year is the federally recognized “Memorial Day”.

While the general populace embraces Memorial Weekend as the “official start of summer”, I find it disheartening that the majority of posts and comments supporting our military clearly do not understand the true meaning of Memorial Day.

So…I’ve dedicated my facebook and twitter posts this weekend to educating about Memorial Day…if even one person learns what the holiday is all about…then I will have been successful.

Simply put, Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering the FALLEN. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their LIFE, while serving our country.

I encourage you to read the information about the meaning of Memorial Day here.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2]    ~wikipedia

There is also great information and history here: http://usmemorialday.org/

I challenge you to take a few minutes out of this splendid weekend that “opens” summer…and learn just a little bit about what Monday’s holiday is all about. Then share the information. There are many, many families who are dealing with the neverending grief of losing a loved one who was serving this wonderful country known as the USA.

As American’s we owe it to them to never, ever forget that sacrifice.

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