It’s been 21 years since Dad passed on. In 1951 he left a small island in the
married a southern girl from
After he retired he went back to school for awhile, worked a few part-time jobs and then finally settled down into a job he liked.
He died too young, on a beautiful summer day doing what he loved best - working in the yard.
My son’s other Grandfather was a Shipfitter 2nd Class, in the Pacific on the U.S.S Birmingham during WWII. He was 18.
He told me that the ship was hit, and as they were going up the ladder to reach the main deck, the man in front of him and the man behind him were blown up.
Pop went on to marry a city girl from
It’s been 34 years since we lost him.
My Grandfather on my Mother’s side served during WWI. PapPaw was at an Army camp in Indiana, waiting to be sent to
It’s been 50 years now…
The military runs though our family going back to the Civil War with ancestors fighting for both the Union Army and the Confederate Army.
In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans
"To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect,
pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to “Taps."
by John McCrae
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.
It’s been ten years since the
Eight years since the
Eight years since my son became a Marine.
Seven years since his first deployment.
The first Memorial Day after the deployment took on a deeper meaning for me as I reflected upon the names of the Marines lost in Fallujah.
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Growing up, my family was not one that visited cemeteries on Memorial Day, although there was always a visit to the family cemeteries when we “went home” to visit. Memorial Day was always the first barbecue of the season. In his younger days, Dad would invite the single Airmen working under him, far from home, over for a day of hot dogs, burgers, beer and some intense games of croquet and badminton.
I remember wearing Poppies as a young girl, and knew the money was to help disabled war Veterans, loved making little bouquets from them, but didn’t know their history. I vaguely remember asking Mom and she shook her head, said something about PapPaw and WWI,
Originally known as “Decoration Day”, Memorial Day began as a holiday celebrated to honor and remember the Nation’s Civil War dead.
Over 600,000 Confederate and
As commander of the Grand Army
of the Republic (formed after the Civil War), General John Logan officially proclaimed May 5, 1868 as “Memorial Day”. Flowers
were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at
It wasn’t until after WWI, when the holiday was changed from honoring Civil War dead to honoring Americans who fought in any war that the South finally recognized May 30th as Memorial Day. Some Southern states continue to recognize their Confederate war dead on their own Confederate Memorial Day.
Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971 and the date was changed from May 30th to the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend for Federal employees.
Since the late 1950’s, “The Old Guard” has been placing small American flags on the gravestones at Arlington. The placing of the flags is called “Flags In”. Then the Soldiers stand guard 24 hours a day through Memorial Day ensuring that the flags remain standing.
Two summers ago I made my first visit to Arlington National Cemetery. The number of grave markers and our country’s history, as I walked through this hallowed ground, was intensely overwhelming. As far as the eye can see, there are rows upon rows of graves in every direction; each headstone representing a life given in service to our country.
Over 1,500,000 Americans have died in service to our country during combat. Did you know there are 24 American military cemeteries overseas? They are the final resting place of almost 125,000 American war dead, with more than 94,000 memorialized on
Tablets of the Missing.
Mom always did have a hard time speaking about war. Following in his Daddy’s footsteps (Uncle Clella served in the Army in WWI)
her cousin joined the Army. Jackie was with the 27th Infantry. He died in
With flags in hand, members of the U.S. Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry, known as the Old Guard, march out to their assigned sections during the “Flags In” ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., May 27, 2010.
DoD photo by William D. Moss
Then on Memorial Day a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Vice President Joe Biden places a wreath at the
Tomb of the Unknowns at
DoD photo by R. D. Ward
Families served and continue to do so, along with the men and women who turned their lives over to “Uncle Sam”. They kept the home fires burning, whether it was plowing the fields, or taking a job to free the men up so they could go to war, or as a spouse raising a family during multiple deployments. There are children who have only heard stories and seen pictures of their PapPaw, their Daddy or Mommy, their uncle or aunt. Every name you read in a cemetery with military insignia engraved upon the headstone, is or was, a Hero to someone.
Scattered throughout our beautiful land are buried this Nation's sons and daughters who, from one generation to the next, with their blood, sweat, and tears, their dedication and fortitude, have defended the freedoms stated in our Constitution; our God-given rights that make our country unparalled in the world.
We must ensure the next generation never forgets where our freedoms came from.
-- Harry S. Truman
And this is what our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen have done through out our country’s history.
They “did the job at hand.”
PapPaw is buried in the family cemetery on a hill in
Dad and Pop’s final
resting places are in a Veterans cemetery here on the Eastern Shore of
We will remember.