What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?

Memorial Day ParadeWhen was the last time you walked up to a soldier and thanked them for serving our country?

 

When I was a boy growing up in Waukesha, one thing I remember about Memorial Day is the huge family picnics where relatives would gather for an annual reunion of sorts.  There was food like grilled burgers, hot dogs, and brats, and of course the plethora of variations of potato salads, fruit salads, chips and pickles.  Let’s not forget the baked beans and deserts!  As kids we would play games, and by the end of the day I remember being pretty full and tired from all the food and exercise.

I also remember going to the Memorial Day Parade with my mom and dad and we would see all the neat soldiers and military vehicles.  The soldiers were dressed in fatigues and carrying their sidearm’s and moving them about with laser precision. Loud claps would fill the air as the butt of their rifles hit the pavement. Their uniforms were sharply pressed, and their shoes, medals and other implements were polished to a brilliant shine.  I remember wondering as a child just how long they must have practiced to achieve their marching precision, and if they marched like that when they were in service on foreign soil.  My dad taught me that Memorial Day represented sacrifice and discipline.

What it Means Now that I’m older…

As a man, husband and father, today Memorial Day still represents the sacrifice that my dad taught me as a child, but it also means dignity and honor to all those who paid the ultimate price in serving our country.  I have grown to deeply respect men and women who serve our country, and I am never ashamed to approach them and thank them when, and wherever I may see them.  They deserve thanks, each and every one of them!

Although Memorial Day is representative to soldiers who have lost their lives, I believe it is also applicable to all service men and women who are willing to lay down their lives to protect our country and the very liberty under which we have the privilege of enjoying this holiday in America.  Every time I hear or see the news of a fallen soldier, I can’t help but to think what courage and willpower it must take to leave everything that matters most (family, friends, etc.,) and go face potential death…  just for us.

A Compelling Story of a 107 yr. old Veteran

Today I read a very heart-moving story on FoxNews.Com about a man who is believed to be the oldest veteran alive in the United States.

107 year old Richard Arvine Overton witnessed many of his fellow soldiers fall in the line of duty in World War II, and served in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima to name a few.  Overton stated in his interview that “…he’ll likely spend the day on the porch of his East Austin home with a cigar nestled in his right hand, perhaps with a cup of whiskey-stiffened coffee nearby.”  You must read this awesome story at FoxNews.Com!

 

Happy Memorial Day Waukesha, and to all the men and women who served and currently serve our country, you deserve recognition, respect and honor.

THANK YOU!

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