Hello and thank you for stopping by today. I hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial weekend but more importantly, I hope the true meaning of this holiday is not being overshadowed by picnics, boating trips or other outdoor activities that are generally associated with this particular holiday.
I think I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to getting caught up in the fun of a holiday such as this one and forgetting why the day is special in the first place. When I was younger I looked forward to the day off as much as anyone. But having a Marine as a father who served in the Korean War, a grandfather who served in World War I in the Army, not to mention uncles and cousins who served in the Navy, Coast Guard and the Marines, I was constantly reminded of their service to our country.
i suppose its true what 'they' say that as we age, we appreciate the things we took for granted when we were younger. Early this morning my best friend called me from Charleston, South Carolina, where she is on a Boy Scout trip with her ten-year-old son visiting the USS Yorktown. She sent me a picture from her cell phone of the ship with the flags flying and it was a beautiful sight. She called me as she was walking down the halls looking at the pictures of the veterans and she came across Lt. Cmdr. Butch O'Hare. She read his story to me: Turns out he was the first Naval Airman to receive the Medal of Honor for single handedly shooting down five Japanese fighter planes on February 20, 1942, who were headed straight for the USS Lexington in the South Pacific. He was killed in combat a year later in 1943. Chicago's O'Hare Airport is named after him. I never knew that story and as Brenda read to me other similar stories, our moods became somber. Brenda mentioned that an unexpected sadness had came over her while she was reading those stories. She also said that though her son was having a great time on the ship she doubted he truly grasped the sacrifices that were made by the men and women lining those walls. I'm so glad Gavin and his Boy Scout Troop made this trip to see the ship. Hopefully it will stay with him for a long time and as he grows older, he will also learn to appreciate what it all means.
THE USS YORKTOWN
I really didn't plan on making this post strictly about Memorial Day - I had intended to talk about what books I had received and which ones I was going to read next, but that will wait for another day. This is more important.
It's more important to acknowledge our service men and women. They don't do it because they have to - they do it because they want to and for that reason alone, they deserve our respect. So if you know a soldier, past or present, take a minute to thank them - I know they will appreciate it.
Happy Memorial Day!