In honor of Memorial Day, I wore this red, white, and blue necklace. My sister Shelly made it for Mom, wife of a WWII vet. Among Mom’s belongings when she died, the necklace might not have seemed important, but to me it symbolized her love for our country.
Growing up in her house, I learned to be proud of our country, love its flag, and honor those who served and fought for our freedom. Even today, the moment our national anthem starts, I can’t help but stand — at home alone or in a crowd — to sing along with my hand over my heart. A heart that almost bursts with pride for our United States of America — our land of the free and home of the brave..
So many memories spring to life on Memorial Day!
- Family who sacrificed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces — Dad and Jim’s dad (WWII, Army), Uncle Lee (WWII, Marines) Uncles Hank and Ed (Korean Conflict, Army) brother-in-law Larry (Vietnam, Army), and my son Rick (Navy).
- Involvement in the American Legion Post in Kaukauna. Dad served a year as Commander, Mom as leader of the Legion Auxillary, and I as leader of the Junior Legion Auxillary.
- Memorial Day meant Dad leaving early to blow TAPS at each cemetery as flags were placed on the graves of deceased vets. Later when the parade paused on the Lawe Street Bridge and the memorial wreath was cast into the Fox River, he played TAPS again. A solemn and beautiful moment in time.
- One year I served as a poppy princess. Another year, as a teen, read “In Flanders Field” to the townspeople who gathered on the lawn of the VFW Hall for formal speeches.
- The many years that my husband Jim and I took time to honor our country and its vets. Most times we joined the crowd outside the Social Services building, and every time the U.S. flag passed by, we’d place our hands over our hearts and stand at attention.
What fond memories spring to life for you on Memorial Day?