Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, like most holidays, means something different to everyone. For some, it's simply a 3 day weekend. For others, it's the start of summer. Some some it's a time to remember those that had served their Country, and for others it's a time to remember all that have passed before us. For me, it's a little bit of all of those....and this year it will be a little bit more. It is a 3 day weekend and it feels like the start of summer. We have always gone to the cemetery in my home town to remember those that have died. The cemetery in that town is the resting place of all 4 sides of my family. Both of my mom's parents and her paternal grandparents. Both of my dad's parents and all 4 of his grandparents are there. Eric has some relatives buried there as well. It certainly gives a person a sense of where they are from.

This is a picture of Billy at the cemetery in about 2001 with his hand over his heart listening to his Grandpa Bill doing a reading. When they were little the big thrill was to grab the empty shells after the 21 gun salute was done. That was the big thrill when I was little too. I wonder how many generations that goes back? I wish I had asked my dad.

This Memorial Day will be an especially hard one. It's not that I don't remember my Dad and think about him everyday, but this day will be the first one that is actually set aside to remember. Hearing his name read with the Army Role of those that have passed is going to be more than tough. My dad wasn't in the Army for very long. He left the hospital with a very bad back a few days before he had to leave for the Army after being drafted. He served from November 7th, 1952 until he was medically discharged on December 12th. He ended up in the infirmary because of his back shortly after arriving in California. When he was able to be on his feet again, his job there was to clean and sterilize the surgical tools. He didn't talk about it very much...but from the letters that he and my mom exchanged I could see what a difficult time it was for them....and can imagine how horrible it was for everyone else that was drafted. It's given me a deeper appreciation of those that have served. I am proud that he served our country as he could. And grateful that he was able to return unharmed.

This handsome young Army man is my dad.

On this Memorial Day, I'll be remembering him...a wonderful man that served his country, as well as the man that loved his family, and the one who was always giving without expecting to get anything in return. A man that always told it as he saw it. Dad, you are so missed. When your name is read today, I'm going to stand tall and strong with the pride that it gives me to say...he's my dad. A day to remember him.

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