Happy Memorial Day

cross_Memorial.DayThis morning Ian asked me what today is all about.  “Mommy, what is Memorial Day?”  he asked.

I told him that it is a day to remember people who have protected us and our country.

The concept of war is totally foreign to this sweet 5 1/2-year-old, but my husband and I have tried to explain that people have fought for us in order to keep us safe.  And, some have died in the process.

“Okay, Mommy,” he said in response.

Although he doesn’t understand all of this, he does understand death — well as much as someone his age can.

Last night on PBS, the Memorial Day special from Washington, D.C. aired.  Ian watched some of this with us before his bedtime. It was such a moving show.  We only saw part of it, but what we did see was packed with patriotism and honoring our Vets.

We started watching it during the honoring of Korean War vets and the memorial in D.C. to them, then a tribute to Charles Durning who was a great actor and Veteran of World War II.   Hearing his accounts of landing at Normandy and all of his buddies that he lost gave me chills.

He was awarded a Silver Star and several Purple Hearts.  I fondly remember him on the show, “Evening Shade” and several other items, but hadn’t realized his bravery in battle.  Thank you Charles and all other Veterans for all that you have done!!

The special also included songs from each branch of the military.  They celebrated the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and National Guard.  Thanks to all of you who have served or are still serving!  You are awesome and so very brave.

As you know too well, war truly is hell.  I want to take today to say thank you to all veterans for enduring hell on earth for our freedoms!  We cannot thank you enough for your love of our country and your sacrifice.

Thanks also to your families for their sacrifices as well.

Today on this first unofficial day of summer, I am going to remember these fine people and all that they have done for me and my family.

I wonder if I can remember that each day?  I sure hope so since freedom is not to be taken for granted.  Also freedom is never free.

Here are a few quotes about Memorial Day:

  • “For love of country they accepted death,”  ~James A. Garfield
  • “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.” ~Francis Marion Crawford
  • “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” ~Minot J. Savage
  • “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”  ~Benjamin Disraeli
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” ~Lee Greenwood

5 Minute Friday – Brave (1 Day Late)

Well I am a day late with my 5 minute Friday blog.  I guess that old expression could apply of better late than never.   I had no access to a computer yesterday so here I am — way late.

The word this week is BRAVE.  Here are the rules. I am not sure I will be able to post it this late, but I wanted to write about this word anyway.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now GO …

“Put on a brave face,” is something we sometimes hear when things are really dire.

Is that something that we actually can do? I wonder since there are many things in life when this is very hard to do.

I started thinking about several items where people are very brave:

  • Parents who have a child with cancer or some other illness
  • Attending the trial of someone who killed your spouse or child
  • Chemo treatment or a mastectomy
  • The people on the airplane on 9/11
  • Soldiers who defend our country
  • Policemen and women who risk their lives each day for us to be safe
  • Firemen and women who run into burning buildings

All of these people are truly what being brave are about to me.

How many times have I truly been brave?

One time that comes to mind is the first time I drove a car after having been run over by a car.  It was also brave for me to walk in a parking lot behind cars.  This was a freak accident but something that took a long time to move past.

Living on my own for the first time was a challenge but something I am so glad to have done. It is stressful at first to try to figure out the bills, the laundry, cleaning up after yourself and all the day-to-day things.

Another time I had to be brave was the first time I had my son all to myself to take care of.  He was born on a Tuesday and we didn’t take him home from the hospital until Saturday.  He spent the first 4 days in the NICU.

This was one of the most difficult week of my life so far since he’d been with me for 9 months and then was across town for me.

We were so thrilled when we could finally taken him home.

STOP — okay time is up.

Read more thoughts on “Brave” at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday link-up today.