Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Today begins the long Memorial Day Weekend ~ a remembrance of the men and women who died while in service to our country.   We owe a lot, no - actually we owe everything, to these proud service members who gave the ultimate, their lives, so we remain free.

When you think about it, how many are willing to do the same?  Are you?  Am I?  My answer is yes.  I had this very conversation with my eldest grandson, Ryan, a couple of years ago.  He was 17 or so, and he asked me what I thought of the war, and after quite a discussion, when I told him I would pick up a gun, march to the front lines and stand proudly, and yes, fight and kill if necessary, any foe that tried to take my country, my homeland, harm my family.  Yes, I would.  Do I want to?  No, I don't think any right thinking person wants to take another persons life, but in war and it's them or me, I would have to.  He said, "It's OK, Grandma.  You take care of cooking the food, I'll take care of protecting you."   I was very proud of him, very proud.

This was of course in generalities, but I would hope he would, that any one in my family would.  We have a rich heritage to goes all the way back to one of the first ships that originally landed on these shores and helped established the original colonies.   My roots go back to the original settlers of this country, of America.  I am a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  I have descendents that fought during the American Revolution.  Several, actually.  And in every single war since - to protect our homeland or to help others earn the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

Memorial Day is a day to remember all who have fought and died in service, or while in service, of our country.  All of my mother's brother's, my uncles, and my father and many of his family, fought during World War II.  All but one of my mother's cousins, has passed away.  Their graves are all marked with military headstones or are buried in Veteran's Cemeteries.  Flags will be placed on their graves, and the graves of all known military service members beginning today in remembrance of their sacrifice to our country.

When I meet a person anywhere who is in uniform, wearing a members cap, or retired cap, I asked if they were a member of the service and thank them for their service to our country.  My entire family has seen me do this, and I pray by this example, they too will walk up to a complete stranger, reach out their hand, shake,  and say, "Thank you for your service to our country.  I want you to know how much my family and I appreciate your service and dedication to all of us, keeping us free and safe."  How many grown men have I seen with such appreciation in their eyes?  Many, many.

Every Veteran's Day I send all of the living relatives or friends I know who served, or are serving, a card thanking them for their service.  My Uncles called me every year, and with tears flowing they would tell me, "no one has ever taken the time to thank me.  I can't tell you how much this means to me."  Every year when that call came, I cried too, because why was I the only one that ever remembered?  Don't we all do this?  I guess not.

When you see a veteran or a service member, stop and extend your hand and let them know how much you appreciate them.  How much it means to you to be free.  You'll be surprised at the response.  And, at the same time, remember the families, the wives and mothers, husbands and fathers.  They keep the home fires burning.  They do the job of both mom and dad, raising the family, taking care of everything.  Thank them - without them, our service members might not have the strength to keep going. 

To anyone who reads this, if you or a loved one is serving or has served, THANK YOU!  I appreciate what you have done for my family and I.  Please let the others you serve with know there are many of us who think of you, pray for you and truly appreciate your sacrifice for our country!

Many blessings,

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