Monday, May 31, 2010
It’s Memorial Day and most of us have a glorious day off! But how many of us actually take a moment to remember what this holiday is about? We are so fortunate to live in this country where we are free to do, be, say and believe whatever we want. This freedom didn’t just happen – there have been millions of people over hundreds of years who have made sacrifices so that we are able to live the way we want to today and we often don’t give it much thought, even on the day meant to honor this very fact.
I don’t mean to get all heavy on you – I want you to enjoy whatever activity or inactivity that you have planned today…I certainly plan to! But please just take a moment today to pause and give a thought of appreciation to all of those who have gone before to ensure that we remain free. We have had this freedom for so long that we take it for granted but if you saw how some people live in other countries and how limited they are in how they are allowed to live, you would have a whole new appreciation for living in the USA.
Veterans are not always appreciated for what they have done and really, if we just take a moment to thank someone who has served our country, it would mean the world to them. Whether silently or out loud to someone in particular, say “Thank You” and be grateful for a free nation.
I have a long line of American history in my family – we have a relative, William Hooper, who signed the declaration of independence. My great-grandfather was in the Civil War, my Grandpa was in World War I and my father was in World War II. I was fortunate to hear a lot of my father’s stories about being overseas during that time. My grandparents encouraged him to sign up for the reserves so he wouldn’t have to serve all four years. So he ended up serving three years and eleven months. Oh well, it was a nice idea.
My father was shipped out to San Diego for boot camp from his hometown of Peoria, Illinois. He fell in love with the warm weather here so as soon as the war was over and he went home, he slipped on some ice and promptly packed up and moved to California where he met my mother. The war had one good outcome for him in that respect!
I can’t imagine what it was like for him being so far away from home in a war. I do know that the opening scene of “White Christmas” - where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are overseas during WWII for Christmas and putting on a show to entertain the troops on Christmas Eve – always made my dad cry. I have so much respect and appreciation for anyone who is in service for our country and for all the sacrifices they are making. And of course, my heart is with all those who have passed on who gave their lives to protect us. There is a reason they call us “The land of the free, the home of the brave.”
Today I am keeping my Daddy and my Grandpa closer than usual in my thoughts and in my heart. I will spend extra time smelling the delicious Veteran’s roses outside our back door today, which are a beautiful reminder of my father’s service. I am sending out thoughts filled with thanks appreciation to everyone who is still out there overseas, working to ensure our freedom and that of others.
To everyone who has served this beautiful country, still here or only in spirit, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all.
Happy Memorial Day!
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