Monday, May 25, 2009

Never Forget

Happy Memorial Day!

As some of you might remember from the post where I revealed 13 things about myself, I am very patriotic. So while we are all enjoying the warmer weather and the long weekend, let's take a minute to remember why today is a national holiday. Memorial Day was started after the Civil War to honor Union soldiers. After WWI, it was expanded to include American casualities of any war or military action (information from Wikipedia. Shh! Don't tell anyone. Librarians hate Wikipedia).

Yesterday my local paper was full of stories of veterans remembering their fallen comrades and honoring them in different events around the country. One story in particular really touched me. I will admit I had tears in my eyes while reading it. At Riverside National Cemetery in California 300 volunteers will read the names of the 148,000 veterans buried there. This roll call of the dead will be read aloud over 10 days - day and night. And some time today, they will read the last name on page 2,465. I am humbled by this. I am even more humbled by the fact that one of these volunteers, Jon Landaker, is the father of 26 year old Jared Landaker, who is buried at Riverside National Cemetery. Jared was a Marine helicopter pilot who was killed on his last mission - one week before he was scheduled to come home. This breaks my heart. So, please take a moment today to remember Jared and all the other military personnel who gave their lives so we can be free. And sometime today while you are enjoying the day off, take a moment to tell your kids about the reason that they have a day off from school today. It's important that we teach them the importance of honoring those who have the made the ultimate sacrifice. And to those of you who have lost a loved one during military service or have a loved one serving in the military, I thank you for your sacrifice as well and I wish you peace.

Image from Google Images


Celine said...

Very touching post, thank you Pam, it makes us think about our freedom and how privileged we are!

Terra said...

Pam I have chills, thanks for sharing such a heartfelt moment! I hope you enjoy the day with your family.

Anita said...

Thanks for reminding us Pam. I saw something on the news this morning about WWII vets and it brought tears to my eyes.
I will take the time to remind my kids of why we have this day.

Gamma Sharon said...

A wonderful post! Those men and women deserve our praise.
Getting ready to go to the Memorial service at 10am. It is always very humbling. Tap's always brings tears to my eyes.

C said...

I went to the Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery last year. My friend's husband is in the military, and was working security for the event, so we got to sit close to the podium, and see President Bush speak. It was an amazing, beautiful event, and really gave me a new perspective. I'll never forget it.

Pam said...

Celine - You said it very well. Freedom is a privilege that we should be grateful for.

Terra - Thank you! Our family is relaxing today and enjoying a schedule free day.

Anita - Somehow the WWII vets are the most touching. Maybe it's because they are all fragile old men now or maybe because that generation was so quiet about what they lived though. I'm not sure but, there is a quiet dignity about them that is very touching.

Sharon - You are right! Those men and women do deserve our praise. Taps makes me cry as well. I can be very sentimental.

C - I love the reverance that I have felt when I've been to Arlington. What a wonderful experience to have been there for a Memorial Day service. I'm sure it was very moving.

FranticMommy said...

Thanks for the post Pam. It's excellent. This weekend I talked to our "neighbor" (way up north by our little cabin in the woods) and found out he was a Vietnam Vet. I never knew that about him and am in awe of him and others like him now more than ever. He told a little about how Agent Orange has affected his health in his later years. It broke my heart.

Pam said...

Mommy - First, how cool that you have a little cabin in the woods. I'm so jealous. I've always wanted to have a little cottage by the sea. Maybe someday.

As for your neighbor... It always amazes me when I hear about vets who are so humble and quiet about their service. Usually it's the WWII vets who are so reticient to share their stories. How sad that your neighbor is suffering all these years later. Makes me even more grateful for his (and others') service. They all deserve our gratitude.

Kathy B! said...

Thank you for this heartfelt post.

Pam said...

Kathy B - You're welcome!


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