color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Memorial Day 2009: Thank You

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009: Thank You

In 2005, I wrote

We Honor You

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!

In 2006, I wrote about Sgt. Kenneth Schall:

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.
and CDR Kirk T. Walsh

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...

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.

In 2007, I let the words to one of my favorite songs speak for me in Bang the Drum Slowly

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
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.

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At 5/24/2009 8:59 PM , Blogger Long-time RN said...

Eloquent post. Our family remembers Cpl. Jason Lee, Staff Sgt. Thomas McFall, Cpl. Sanchez, Cpl. Chris Nelson, and Cpl. Victor Garcia of the 1/38 Inf Div, 4/2 Stryker Brigade, Ft. Lewis, WA. They will not be forgotten. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to their families and friends.

At 5/25/2009 7:32 PM , Blogger Guard Wife said...

Thank you for this post, SSM. It is well done, as always, and I remember so well that photo of a grieving wife with your son saluting in the background. We remember today & we also feel it a bit deeper as we have one of our own in Iraq again and are preparing to send the husband in a matter of weeks.

At 6/02/2009 3:36 PM , Blogger jenny said...

Great posting. I will continue to reference your site in the future. Veterans deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. The new post 9-1 GI bill provides assistance to veterans while they earn their online degrees


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