Memorial Day 2009: Thank You
In 2005, I wrote
In 2006, I wrote about Sgt. Kenneth Schall:
On this Memorial Day, I personally honor and thank the soldiers, marines and sailors in my family:
My Dad - who left high school at 17 and joined the Army – 82nd Airborne – and lost his left arm above the elbow at the close of WWII. As children, we called that my Dad’s “broken arm”. HOOAH, Dad.
My dear husband – from a small farming community in central Illinois who enlisted in the Navy at age 19 and spent the next 24 years in the Navy. He earned his wings, served two tours in Vietnam and was spit on, ridiculed, called foul names but still considers his years in the Navy to be the epitome of what life is about: duty, honor, country. BRAVO ZULU, dear husband!
Terri Schall told us the story of her delightful and brave son who had a passion for the work he did in the Army. She told the story of his tenacity -- how he had crawled out on the 2nd story window ledge at his barracks to harass and convince a buddy to accompany him for a late night pizza after he had been turned down by the buddy five or six times.
After graduation from the University of Colorado with a degree in Political Science, Kirk Walsh was commissioned an Officer in 1962 and enjoyed a 20-year career as a naval aviator -- flying aircraft including the Huey and Cobra helicopters and serving two tours in Vietnem.And in Yes, In My Name, we remembered those close to us...
In 2007, I let the words to one of my favorite songs speak for me in Bang the Drum Slowly
I know I say this a lot, but holidays have new meanings for me beginning this year. The change in my outlook is not just a one-year change, but a life-changing epiphany. The day our son was wounded irreversibly changed the intensity with which I view each day, but especially holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas had new meaning, as did New Year’s Day and Mother’s Day. And certainly Veterans’ Day.
However, I think one of the most significant changes for me is how I will view and celebrate and feel Memorial Day. My family has always remembered Memorial Day. Thanks to my mother, our family learned early to honor those that serve. We attended Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans' Day parades in our town: some years we sat and cheered from the curbs as we waved our American flags, while in other years we were participants.
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end.
And last year, I shared President Bush's Prayer for Peace.
On Memorial Day, we honor the heroes who have laid down their lives in the cause of freedom, resolve that they will forever be remembered by a grateful Nation, and pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they have made.
Memorial Day 2009: To those who gave all in service to our country, we thank you. We honor you. We remember you.