Posts Tagged ‘Memorial_Day


Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is always a great day for me!  

Growing up, it was long weekends of playing at the Uncles’ farms, interrupted only by the reverential viewing of the Indianapolis 500. All of us were glued to the set, watching AJ Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, or one of the Unsers make a charge for the wreath and that long swig of milk. It was always a great way to kick-off the summer and endure the final few days of school. 

American FlagMemorial Day takes on a different tone for me these days. Appreciating history and the tremendous blessings we have in this country, it’s one of those days to pause and give thanks.  

On this day, it’s time to give thanks for all the men and women who made our freedom possible and keep our company strong. The line started with the General Washington and the improbable band of upstarts taking on the most powerful army in the world. It continued through battles on our side of the ocean as we “formed a more perfect union” by struggling with enemies from without and our own collective conscience in the Civil War. 

We ascended to world power status, aiding our allies in wars on several continents, turning back evil forces and setting the stage for events to play out in an international arena. That included forays into unfamiliar places on the map, backing unpopular causes, and all the time making it possible for us to live free and strong as Americans. 

HeroThe same holds true today as men and women, stationed around the globe stand watch for us. They face new challenges, new threats, and new opportunities. Like their predecessors, they make it possible for the rest of us to live in a country of eternal promise and endless possibility. 

Take a few minutes to think about what these patriots do for us…and say thanks! Every time I do that, the magnitude of the challenge hits me and fills me with a sense of awe and gratitude. Allow that feeling to fill you this Memorial Day! 

Oh…and have an extra hot dog for me!


The Tri-Corner Flag

There was always that flag in our house – the one folded so carefully into the traditional tri-corner form, with the stars visible from both sides. It was always on display, at first by itself, then with the medals and pictures that linked the flag with my Grandpa’s older brother Joe.

Great Uncle Joe was killed in World War I: In a place forgotten by most, in a way mentioned by no one. He was a young soldier, doing his duty, far away from his Wisconsin home. There are millions of stories like his, with millions of families like ours: Grateful for his service and saddened that we never had the chance to see the potential of his full life.

I am now old enough to have seen the country’s mood about the military make several swings, from the full-throated “love-it-or-leave-it” patriotism of the 1960s, to the disillusionment of the 1970s, the bottoming out and rebound of the 1980s, the militarism of the 1990s, and finally to our time. A time where we have our (violent) disagreements about war and how to wage it, but all of us appreciate the men and women who disrupt their lives and put themselves into harm’s way to protect our way of life.  

These are our heroes. It’s a time where we struggle to find heroism in our everyday lives. Traditional heroes – sports legends, politicians, captains of industry, and even parts of the clergy – have all left us disappointed. Still, these men and women remain worthy to be called our heroes and deserve our thanks.

Unlike Great Uncle Joe, these people are still among us, wearing the uniform with pride and doing what it takes to keep our country strong. We can thank them for what they do for us and what they make possible.

It’s Memorial Day. It’s time.

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May 2018
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