Memorial Day Honors our Fallen Soldiers

Memorial Day Honors our Fallen Soldiers. I’m happy to say I have no relatives who will be honored on Memorial Day. Why? Because the holiday is to honor fallen soldiers. All of my family members who serve(d) in the military survived their service unscathed. Yet, in the broader sense of family, I believe that holidays like Memorial Day should unite us in some way as we pay homage and remembrance to those who gave their all. 

I make sure the American flag flies from the front of the house.

Wearing the red, white and blue on Memorial DayIt’s such a small thing – fly the American flag. I always find it a bit sad that so few houses in my neighborhood do even that. In my organized years I make sure I have red, white and blue decorations up inside, and I try to remember to wear red, white, and blue. At the end of the day, my husband and I love to tune into PBS to watch the Memorial Day concert live from the US Capitol. Living in Phoenix, celebrating in air conditioning is a wonderful thing. With a bit of guilt, I confess I’ve never done anything more public such as decorating graves, attending a service, or whatever else I could do to be more patriotic. I’ve never lived on a military base, close to the military lifestyle. If my remembrance isn’t as public, it is still heartfelt for those who have served. I do hope that in between buying a refrigerator on sale and barbecuing with friends, many others at least wear their red, white and blue. (Click here to see the service members in my family.)

Humbled by the People of Austin,Texas

Crowd in the Austin Airport awaiting WWII and Vietnam War veteransLast month, I was flying out of Austin Texas, an airport I’m not familiar with. As I walked into the terminal there was a huge crowd of people on my right. Certain it was a crowded TSA line, I headed into the gauntlet. Everyone around me started cheering and clapping as if I’d won a huge prize. They waved American flags. Far from being a line for security, there must have been more than 300 people waiting for WWII and Vietnam veterans to return from an Honor Flight to Washington DC, and it was a long walk to the other end. In a fun spirit they practiced their cheering as I wheeled my suitcases past, quite embarrassed at the attention. I waited as long as I could to join the event, only to find out that the only way to get to the Southwest Airlines counter, was to return down the same guantlet I’d come through. Again, everyone practiced their cheering and applause as I passed by. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in an airport.

Reluctantly, I headed to the other end of the terminal to check in for my flight, sorry to miss the celebration. As I stood there, I heard the cheering begin, and I stood right next to where the long line of Veterans and their companions left their gate, saluting as they walked, or their wheelchairs were pushed past me. I seriously teared up, especially when I thought of all the Vietnam Veterans who were never welcomed home. The memory of this day, and the true class shown by the people of Austin will stay with me for a long time. ( I tried uploading the video from the airport but had technical difficulty. Trust me, it was special.)

On this, and every Memorial Day, thank you to all who have served and given your all.

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