Today is Memorial Day. The one day of remembrance that was set aside each year to honor those who have died in our nation's service. Over time, this day of remembrance has been extended to include all those deceased who have served our nation. Today many people also include recognition for all our men and women who are currently serving our nation. You know, that’s a good thing. And we thank God for all of our military men and women throughout the ages who have served our nation. Freedom is not free and all of our service people have made sacrifices in order to preserve our freedoms. Everyone of them deserve this day of recognition.
As a lad, growing up in small town U.S.A., I remember the traditional Memorial Day parades held each year. The parades would begin at the Anderson school on High Street, march to Main Street, turn west heading toward post office square, and continue up the hill to Grove Cemetery. The parade would include the honor guard, a marching band or two, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, members of the armed forces, jeeps, Army trucks, and an Army tank, a couple of floats, convertibles carrying city dignitaries, and the fire trucks. Once arriving at the cemetery a Memorial service would take place with a couple of short speeches, a prayer, and taps being played followed by a 21 gun salute being fired.
My brother and I have marched in a couple of those parades during our Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts years. After the activities were concluded, our family would visit my dad’s father’s grave. He served in World War I and my dad served in World War II. Flags and flowers would be placed on graves throughout the cemetery.
We would return home where hot dawgs and hamburgers were burned over the charcoal while soda and potato chips were being sampled. There was always some of mom’s famous potato salad on hand serve with the dawgs and burgers. But the main thing was that we remembered. We remembered why we had freedom and liberty. We remembered why we lived in the greatest nation on earth. And we remembered those who went before us.
Thank you to all of those who have served our country in the past, who are serving in the present, and who will serve in the future. May God Bless Each And Every One Of You.
Jim and Linda