Sunday, May 25, 2008

With Thanks and Respect

Today Peyton and Chloe were excited that they are off school tomorrow.
They thought it was just because the teachers wanted a day off.
I decided that they needed to learn why Memorial Day is a National Holiday
and the reason we celebrate and honor our veterans and active military.
Off we went to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
I told them that many of their relatives were veterans and were buried there.
They only had met two of the great uncles, but had heard stories about the others.
My father is buried there. We would visit him first.
Each year on this day the Boy Scouts of our area put a flag on all of the
thousands of tombstones, in respect and honor of the veterans at their final resting place.
I explained to them on the way how lucky we are that we have the freedom
to live and play however we chose, how we are able to worship in whatever
church we chose, how lucky we are that we have this freedom.
We have that freedom because of the brave soldiers who fought for it.
That was how I explained to them what this day was all about.
On the street going to the cemetery there was a group selling wooden crosses with artificial flowers stapled to them. The crosses were marked, "dad, mom, grandpa, son, etc."
We didn't see any that said great-grandpa. They wanted one for Pa's grave.
The lady graciously took one apart and made a new cross with "Great Grandpa"
lettered across. We bought that one.
When we got there, all the scouts were leaving, most drenched to the bone from the
morning thunderstorms we were having here.
Well, all of my talking and story telling must have sunk in.
After we went to visit my dad's grave and they put their little wooden cross in the ground,
we said a prayer. I told them we were going to see the other graves of their relatives, but
Peyton thought it would be nice to give these soldiers a salute.
It touched me like nothing has for a long time.
What a site, seeing my grandchildren standing there showing so much
respect, when earlier that day all they were worried about was finding Chloe's ds game.

I think our ancestors would have been as proud of them as they are of their ancestors.

Thanks to all of our veterans, active military and their families on this Memorial Day weekend.

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