I've always loved Memorial Day.
When I was a young girl, we would go to my Grandma's house every year to help her pick flowers.
I mostly remember Iris (or "Flags" as Grandma called them), maybe some lilacs, and peonies if we were lucky enough for them to be in bloom.
We would put them in metal buckets full of water, and then take them to the cemetery to decorate the graves of family members who had died.
I think I remember the Iris so well, because Grandma would always comment on how much Grandpa hated "Flags", and that he was probably mad at her for putting them at his grave.
In addition to remembering loved ones who have passed on, it's primarily a day set aside for us to show honor and respect for the brave men and women who have served our country.
This year, I'll be thinking of an online friend, her son was a highly decorated and honorably discharged Green Beret.
A few years ago, he suffered a brain injury from a fall.
He was recently murdered.
In addition to remembering those who have passed on,
My thoughts will also turn to;
A friend who's son was recently deployed to Afghanistan. He is a Combat Marine.
Another friend's son, in the Army National Guard.
My niece's husband...also currently deployed in the Middle East.
A cousin who is currently serving as a Flight Surgeon.
A cousin who proudly wears a Navy Uniform and is stationed in Guam.
Another cousin who teaches at Camp Williams.
But mostly, I'll be thinkin' of my dad.
My dad served in the United States Navy from 1954-1958.
He was an Enlisted Man.
He served first aboard
The USS Lincoln County LST 898
Later, he was transferred to the
USS Hermitage LSD 34
He was a Boatswain's Mate. (Pronounced "Bosun").
He still has a pipe, which looks similar to this one:
Dad currently is serving as the Commander of the American Legion, Post 48 in Payson.
He and his fellow Legion members perform hours of community service.
Most notably, as Honor Guard for numerous Military funerals throughout the area.
It's always amusing when my dad meets another Veteran. If they served in different branches of the Military, there is typically some good nature teasing that goes on. But after that, there is always respect and admiration, regardless of branch, or rank, or position.
Thank you dad, for instilling in me a sense of Patriotism, and a love for my country.