Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Memorial Day weekend is one of my favorite weekends, and holidays. But not always for the reasons it should be. I look forward to having a three day weekend with my family, for having time to do some projects around the house, for BBQ’s and swimming and all the fun things we usually do this weekend. But I don’t spend enough time really contemplating why we are celebrating in the first place.
Memorial Day is a time to remember first and foremost, those who have fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. Memorial Day is a beautiful day to remember our loved ones who gave us gifts that helped to shape who we are, but are no longer here in body to celebrate with us. I have been trying to keep these things foremost in my mind as I remember loved ones who have passed, and especially the many men and women who have fought and died that my family might continue to live freely and enjoy all the blessings this great country has to offer.
Both Mark and I have grandfathers and great uncles who served in World War II. We are fortunate enough that these relatives came home to their families. Mark’s Grandfather served in the South Pacific in the Navy. My Grandfather served in Europe in the Army, and my Great Uncle served in Europe for the Air force. Each of them blessed us in ways I won’t be able to understand, but each of them had hardships and saw horrors that they were not able to share. Each of these men are no longer with us, but we were fortunate to grow up and have close relationships with at least our Grandfathers. Our parents were young, but were old enough to remember the sacrifices they made during the years that their family members were at war, and their mothers were raising them without fathers.
Mark’s Grandfather holding his father, his Great Uncle to the Right, his Grandmother to the left.
I don’t have any photos of my grandfather in uniform, but he was a wonderful man, and I was blessed to know him and hear of some of the stories he told from fighting in World War II
This is my Great Uncle. He piloted this Bomber plane. As a child I remember hearing stories of some of the bombs he dropped and where . I remember being uncomfortable listening, but as I grew older, beginning to understand the complexities of war, and the necessary violence and fighting that had to ensue to save the free world from one central power. The men who flew these planes were brave, as every time they went up, they risked great danger of being shot down by Nazi war planes, or the planes malfunctioning themselves. This was a very dangerous job in the military, and many, many men lost their lives serving in this capacity. My Great Uncle Jack is the one directly under the word “Hell”. The bombs painted on the plane represent the number of bombs dropped from this plane. Very sobering.
If you have stories of loved ones and their bravery in fighting for our freedom, I would love to hear about it. We have our own family stories, but I know there are thousands more out there, and I never tire of hearing them.
I hope everyone has a beautiful Memorial Day, enjoys their families, BBQ’s, swim parties, and general fun and relaxing today. As we enjoy all of these wonderful activities, let’s remember how blessed we are to be able to enjoy them as free citizens.
I am so grateful for my family that is still here with me,
(Even if they are a bit odd, My Stepfather Todd, who I adore and love to pieces, and also served in the Korean War)
All of the cousins (our kid’s cousins) on my side of the family, who have a hard time being serious together
My brother in-Law Daniel, who is almost always behind the camera and not terribly fond of having his own picture taken.
And my family, enjoying being a family
And my siblings, myself, and my parents, all at a very awkward stage of life…..The 70’s.
Even though many of these people, including my father and my brother are no longer here to celebrate Memorial Day with us, I can spend the day in gratitude for the time we did have together. For the good memories we enjoyed, and that we were able to enjoy them, growing up free, privileged, American Citizens.