Greetings everyone and happy Friday!
We have a long holiday weekend in the U.S, Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, honoring all of our soldiers who died while in the military service, serving their country. Their sacrifices were many with the ultimate sacrifice of laying their lives on the line out of the comitted sense of love, honor and duty that keeps their extended U.S. family safe, preserving our freedoms! For this, thank you does not seem nearly enough, but thank you. You are remembered for all you have done.
I remember a year I introduced my daughter to what Memorial Day was all about. We went for a drive to the florist and picked out 30 or so red, white and blue carnations. Bundled them up and prepared them back home. As she was helping me to trim the leaves I explained that we were going to make a gesture by taking the flowers to the cemetery. That there are men and women who we've never met personally, helping to keep us safe and no matter what, they stand for us, by our sides, making sure that the bad guys, "play in their own back yard."
I asked her to put some warm clothes on, because it would be cooler later in the evening. I loaded up the car and packed a couple of sandwiches, so we could take our time. I called for her that it was time to go and she shouted, "I'll be right there."
As she was coming out the front door, she seemed to be struggling a bit with her bag. I went to help her and she said, "I'll get it!" and with all of her might she was dragging what seemed to be a good size type Santa bag walking backward looking over her shoulder as a guide....THUMP...it went into the back seat and she just stared forward, as if she was ready for a mission.
We left for the country cemetery and as we pulled in, she said she didn't want any help with her bag. I divided the flowers, giving her half and told her we were putting them on the grave sites of the soldiers that were no longer with us in body, but in spirit. Periodically I would check to make sure I could see her but at one point I no longer did. I called and called panic strickened even though we were the only 2 people out there.
I walked up and down and around every single pillar, angel, tree and bush until I was stopped in my tracks. There she was on her hands and knees, dragging that bag of hers, with rows of grave markers adorning, apples, bananas, Chips Ahoy cookies, pop tarts, tiny stuffed animals and a bottle of mustard. For each one, she said thank you, patting the markers like you would the shoulder of a good friend.
I doubt I'll see that exact scenario again any time in the near future. She was no more than 7 when she ventured out creatively, but that memory will stay with me forever and I'm pretty certain somebody out there, the following day had a fairly good lunch.
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