Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thanks for your service
Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, was created to commemorate U.S. men and women who died while in military service. I think though, and rightly so, it has become a day to recognize all veterans.
My dad was a veteran of WWII. That’s his picture here….looking all handsome and snappy and devil-may-care. He was so proud to have been a soldier. He didn’t talk much about the action he saw, but he did talk about the men he served with.
His platoon remained a tight group. That band of brothers. They would hold reunions every couple of years to keep their friendship strong and once when they had a gathering near where I lived, I went out to meet his buddies.
Dad was a different person when in the company of his fellow soldiers. There was a light shining through him. A pride that just radiated from his eyes and broadened his smile. Whether they were talking about the war or grandchildren, there was a potent bond -- the knowledge they had been through something together that was important, and powerful, and ever lasting.
My dad passed almost four years ago. I think of him every day, but it’s on Memorial Day that I am awash in a special respect for him. I channel that pride he radiated. As I put out the row of small flags on my lawn today, I realized that he also instilled in me a fierce sense of patriotism.
From the editorial cartoons below, it seems as though there are others who share my appreciation for Memorial Day.
The next time you have the opportunity to be with a veteran – or a currently enlisted soldier, sailor, marine, or guardsman – thank them for their service. A salute would be nice, too.