Happy Memorial Day

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Memorial Day!  Today is a day all about bravery and sacrifice.  We celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedoms.  I applaud those men and women who protect me and my family and enable us to enjoy our way of life.

Those killed or injured and the families and friends they leave behind are to be thanked and appreciated for all that they have done. These people are our heroes.

This day is more than just a day off from work or school, more than just a cookout, or the start of summer.  It is a day of valor, patriotism, sacrifice, and true and amazing love.

Thanks so much to all those who have ever served in the military or as a police officer or any capacity of protection.  Because of you, I can live a free life.  That is an amazing gift.

cross_Memorial.DayA 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
  • “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  ~Joseph Campbell
  • “Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.”~Wallace Bruce
  • “Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…”~Thomas Moore
  • “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

As the saying goes, Freedom is never free. These amazing veterans and those currently serving know that only too well.  May we live lives that are worthy of their sacrifice.

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

Ready For Summer!

CATES_at_MBThis month has been a crazy busy one for me.  How about you?

There has been so much to do for a while now.  Hopefully all of that will soon wind down with summer coming!

Can you believe the first day of summer is on Monday with Memorial Day?  Actually it isn’t the first official day of summer but does start the time. Pools open and people get out their boats to take to the lake.  It’s a wonderful time of year!

With many schools starting in mid-August, the summer is now a lot shorter than when I was in school. I remember three months of summer back when I was in high school.  The summers seemed to last forever and did from early June until after Labor Day when we went back.

There has been talk in Tennessee of changing the starting date of school back to September.  I do hope that is done!

I do so love the summer and all of the fun to be had!  Days at the pool or lake, trips to the library and local museums, or doing whatever we feel like.  YEAH!  I just hope it isn’t too humid.  But, in East Tennessee, that is part of the summer.  Time to get used to that!

What I especially like about the summer is going to the beach.  I have been fortunate to go each summer of Ian’s life to our favorite beach — Mission Beach, California (which I have written a lot about).  It has been fun to spend time with our family and see our friends each summer.  The ones there have seen him grow from an 8-month-old to now 5 1/2-year-old.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAFive years in a row for mostly a month visit has been an amazing gift and real pleasure!  I feel totally spoiled and have loved each and every minute!  Above is one picture of us when Ian was 2 years old.  To the left is from last summer when he was playing on the sand.

Unfortunately this summer, we won’t be able to go.  That is a real bummer and something that saddens me greatly.  However, we will make the best of our other activities that we will be doing.

Each time I go to the beach, it is so relaxing and brings back so many memories of my childhood.  I hate I will miss it, but have so many pictures of fun in years past to enjoy.

We can’t do everything that we want and this summer is one of those things.  Perhaps, I will instead go to the community pool to swim, go to the lake for a cookout, go to a baseball game, or simply go out for an ice cream treat.

This summer will be different but it will also be a special one since my son starts kindergarten this fall, actually in August.  My baby is grown up and ready for the next part of his life.

I must admit it is a bit tough on his mommy, but he is so ready!  I am thrilled and excited for him and all of the new things that he will be learning.  He already is a sponge and that will just increase.

Ah, summer!!  How I love it so!  I hope it will be a great one for us and for you as well!  Have fun.

I wonder what our adventures will be with this different summer!  I can’t wait to find out.

God Bless the USA

One of my favorite songs that I sang in high school chorus was by Lee Greenwood.

Here are some of the words from “God Bless The USA.”  The words are perfect to celebrate this Memorial Day.

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.

And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.

For there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God Bless The USA.

Thanks to him for such a great song and for the men and women who have defended us!!

May you have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day

For love of country they accepted death…”  ~James A. Garfield

Happy Friday!  I hope that you have a terrific Memorial Day weekend!

This weekend is traditionally known as the beginning of summer.  So, people will be traveling to be with friends and family, having cookouts, and swimming in the ocean, lake, or pool.

I always have enjoyed the long weekend and the fun with the start of summer.  And, here in Tennessee it will be very hot — 90 degrees all weekend.  The heat of mid-summer is starting early.

But let’s not forget the reason for the holiday weekend.  It is remembering those in the Armed Services who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  Be it death, a massive injury, or a major change in their life, they make sacrifices for us each day.

I hope that you can thank those in the military for their service and job protecting us.  And, please honor and respect those who we have lost.  Thanks to you brave men and women for all you do.

It is amazing to me to think of what military families deal with.  Being away from one another for a year at a time or longer, going to parts of the world where Americans are not liked, in fact, they are often hated, and yet these men and women go wherever they are needed since it’s their duty.

Many of us have friends and family who have served in wars throughout the years or in peace time.  I had friends from high school who served during Operation Desert Storm and also in the more recent conflicts had some family and more friends serving.

My prayers are with the military, the generals and other officers, the Joint Chiefs, the people in the Pentagon, the Cabinet members, and our Commander-in-Chief.  Whether or not you agree with the conflict they are involved in, it is so very important to remember and support those in uniform who are protecting us.

There is quote that says a hero doesn’t wear a cape but a dog-tag.  I must agree and say thanks and God bless all of those serving and have served in the military.  We appreciate what has been done for us both by those who go to fight and by the families who stay behind.

Remember, freedom is never free.