May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

It is not much; it is simply two small United States flags. The entire packet cost me less than a dollar at Target. I walked in on our trip, found them, set them in the basket and bought them along with some other items we desperately needed. Well, okay, I bought them with some other items we wanted. But Sunday afternoon, those two little flags will be important. I’m taking my children to visit their great-granddaddy’s grave and remind them of the others who have served our country.

Granddaddy (as I called him) served in World War Two and was part of “The Greatest Generation”. As the story goes, he went down and volunteered two times to serve and was rejected. After the second time he received a draft notice. He served throughout the war making teeth and working in the medical aspect of the army. My other Grandfather was somewhat more reluctant. He waited until the draft notice came and then joined without hesitation. His story became the thing of legends with five bronze stars, two purple hearts, and participation in Africa, D-day, the Battle of the Bulge and the taking of Germany. They served with honor to ensure that they Constitution, our way of life, and the little flags that will be placed on their graves will always stand apart in the world for freedom.

Since that time, my father served in the navy and all three of my brother-in-laws served in Iraq through the army, navy, and air force. I’m proud of them and thankful for their service to ensure yours and my right to freedom.

As I said before, our children will visit their great-granddaddy’s grave. They will each have the opportunity to place flags on the grave. I will tell them about the service of men and women not only in our family, but around the nation as well. They will basically get one more history lesson this Memorial Day weekend. It won’t all be about trips, days off, and cooking hamburgers. It will be about the people who served. It is my hope that my children will walk away with an appreciation for the freedoms they have and that someday they will teach their children about Memorial Day.

Sadly, as I do this, I have read newspaper reports concerning our President’s planned vacation to Chicago. He will not go to Arlington to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. According to all reports he will be going to the gym and taking some time off. It’s always nice to be able to take a vacation whenever you want to do so. In fact, the President is one of the few people who can take several vacations a year. But I have to wonder why the leader of our nation chose this weekend to take a vacation and ignore the honor and meaning of Memorial Day. I have to think that when a President does this, maybe he doesn’t value the freedoms, the Constitution, and the flag that these men and women have sacrificed for over the life of our great, free nation known as the United States of America. Hopefully, the gestures of American families all over this great nation will make up for the poor judgment of our President.
(Cartoon from Cox Forkum  Cox Forkum)