I wanted to write something thought-provoking about Memorial Day, but after a busy weekend and a day spent out in the sunshine today I'm just too tired. I do want to get a couple things in writing before I wander off to dream land, though - because this blog is as much a journal and way for me to remember things as it is a way to share stories and recent happenings with others, and a year from now I'll be happy I can look back on what we did today.
Rachel walked in the local Memorial Day parade with her Girl Scout troop. I was so proud of her. I took a couple of pictures of her with my cell phone, but apparently I didn't hit "save" because those pictures are nowhere to be seen. She looked so cute carrying a Girl Scout flag and wearing her Brownie vest with all the patches she has earned.
My parents came into town to see Rachel in the parade. It had been years since any of us participated in Memorial Day activities, and I chuckled with my dad - who served with the Michigan National Guard - about whether he had brought a handful of tissues with him. Dad gets choked up when he hears the national anthem, and I'm afraid I inherited that sappiness from him. An entire parade dedicated to the military and those who lost their lives serving our country would have us both a wreck.
Following the parade we stayed for the beach side memorial ceremony, and then drove over to the cemetery to see the grave marker at my grandma's and grandpa's grave (he was cremated when he died in '02 and they were buried together when grandma died this year). I was proud to see the American flag waving next to the stone; my grandfather was a Merchant Marine and served in WWII.
I imagine it would make anyone proud looking out across that huge cemetery and seeing so many of those flags. So many servicemen and women who called this area home. So much history. And we're a part of it in some small way.
I was glad to share this day with my parents and my children, and to allow my kids to witness and participate in the show of respect for all who serve this great country. And particularly on this day, those who lost their lives while doing so. We have several family members and many friends who have and do serve in the military, and we have been fortunate and blessed to have them all return home safely. I pray that continues to be the case. But for all those we welcome home, there are those who don't come home, and whose families forever have a void in their lives that will never be filled. We owe those families our deepest respect and appreciation for their loved one's service.
Happy Memorial Day.