Monday, May 26, 2014

Honor Your Family Veterans--Include Them In Your Family Memoires Book

We tend to use Memorial Day weekend as the kick-off to summer. School is out, or nearly out, and winter-weary folks want to grill and go to the pool or beach. Way back, there was a song about the lazy, hazy days of summer. With all that in mind, the important part of Memorial Day can get shoved in the background. 

Last evening, Ken and I watched the annual Washington, D.C. Memorial Day Concert. This was the 25th anniversary of the show and it lived up to that special mark. It honored our men and women who have served their country and those who are presently serving. Parts of the show were difficult to watch and I had to grab my tissues more than once, but we need to be reminded of the sacrifices made by these patriots. 

It made me think that there should be a section in our Family Memories book for those in our families who served in the military. You can include stories of bravery and honors earned, humorous incidents that have been passed down through the years, and yes, the sad stories, too. We need to leave a record of all of this for future generations. 

Telling the stories is wonderful, but writing them so they are recorded forever is fantastic. Don't just think about it. Do it. You need not be a professional writer to do this. It's your family, your book, and you can write the stories. 

A childhood memory of mine in an excerpt from an essay written about the month of May, not about a specific military person but about how I learned to respect and honor our military people when I was but a child.:
May finishes with Memorial Day week-end. Every year from kindergarten through eighth grade, all the students in Lincoln School marched by classes to Carroll Playground across the street. Every class selected a boy to carry the American flag and a girl to carry a bouquet of flowers to lay at a commemorative plaque honoring all those who had attended Lincoln School and had given their lives during WWII and the Korean War. A solemn ceremony accompanied the laying of the flowers. In those days Memorial Day was always May 30th and we had the ceremony the day before, which just happened to be my birthday. Because of that fact, I was chosen to carry the flowers almost every year, and the strange thing is that no one ever complained. It was accepted, and it made me feel so very special. The parade of classes, the patriotic songs, the many American flags waving, the speeches, and the floral offerings all instilled a great sense of patriotism in me that lasts to this day.

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