Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Stratton

Memorial Day, What does it mean to you?  When I was a little girl we would always go to the cemetery and place flowers on our loved ones graves. My Mother's Mom (my grandma) died when she was 13 years old.  Her burial site is across the street from the rows and rows of soldiers.  Every Memorial day we would finish cleaning off her headstone and then just sit on the curb and look at all the white crosses with tiny flags waving in the breeze, among the white crosses you would see a Star of David in place of a cross.  My Mom would tell us they are the reason for Memorial Day.  The men who fought for our country and gave the ultimate price for our freedom, their lives.  I would look and feel such sadness for their families.  There were so many of them.  We would then go to her baby brother's burial site and once again I would be sad because this section was known as baby land.  All the headstones belonged to babies who died.  We would always end up at the pond to feed the swans and ducks.

As I grew older Memorial Day became a little different meaning.  Not only did mean honoring our past loved ones and honoring those who fought for our country but also those who have survived.  It also means the beginning of Summer and get together with family.  Occasionally a graduation will be thrown into the mixture.

I do not need Memorial day for me to remember my loved ones who have passed nor those who gave their lives for our country.  However it is wonderful to have a day dedicated to our Veterans living or not.  I know, they have another day too but the living deserve two days as well. I am proud that I am American.

I have been reminded the past month that I am proud to be American in so many ways.  Of course the History Channel (we watch a lot of it) however when our country comes into crisis the goodness of the communities and people pitch in.  Memorial Day this year means more then those who lost lives but those who lost a part of the life or loved ones.  My friend Aimee wrote a series of blogs about the tornado in here area in Alabama.  Very touching, she does such a great job of sharing her emotions, you should check it out.  A Day In The Life Of My Crazy Little World.   My friend Jenny, whose photos I am using,  uploaded a photo tribute of the tornado in Joplin, MO and of her cousin's place in Arkansas.  She and her sister, Joanna drove from Iowa to Arkansas to help their cousin out. These two women are the epitome of goodness whenever someone is down on their luck or needs assistance they are there.  I am so proud that I know all of these women.

“…I’m proud to be an American
where at least I know I’m free
And I wont forget the men who died
who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
next to you and defend her still today
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA”
-Lee Greenwood

 Photo Courtesy of Jenny Stratton.

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