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Memorial Day, 2014

th   by Maxine Davis

   Memorial Day – U.S. holiday:  a public holiday to commemorate soldiers who died in war.

I think it is wonderful that we, as beneficiaries of those who have given the “ultimate sacrifice,  get to celebrate this day.  There are some that are too young or just do not observe the day as it was intended, a day  where we remember our ancestors, our loved ones and the many others who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Oh, hubby and I will have our barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs with just the two of us. I’ll have a red, white and blue candle onththe table. Others will be celebrating with friends and family, with lots of fun activities. And that’s part of what being an American is all about—being free to do whatever we want to do. This year also listen to one of the Memorial Day Concerts near you or on television, and I bet you get a tear in your eye at some of the music. Fly your flag at half-staff until noon. If you live near a military base, look toward the sky when the planes fly over in formation. Let’s all try to remember those who gave their lives helping to secure those freedoms for us.

Years ago, as many of you know, I taught high school. These kids are all basically good, but they have their own ideas of how to show they are growing up and no “old person” is going to tell them what to do. When I started teaching, we had the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. The first morning, I flitted around saying, “Quickly, stand up.” All of them got out of their seats, and I stood straight, placed my hand over my heart and recited the Pledge with most while some mumbled through it.

I had heard other teachers say how some had to show their defiance, by sitting during the Pledge.  So afterwards, I asked my students to listen to me for a moment. I told them, “I appreciate you all standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. I was around during the Vietnam Era. You can ask your parents or grandparents about that war.  They will tell you that unless a young man enlisted, he was drafted according to a lottery and some of them had just graduated from high school. I had friends who went to Viet Nam. Some of them did not return. I will stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance in their honor and in honor of all those young men who did not come back from all wars.  And I think everyone should. So thank you again for standing up today.” The bell rang. I smiled broadly and said, “Have a good day!” as I moved to the door.

From that day on, my students all stood. They even told some of the newcomers who wanted to sit there in rebellious silence, that Teach wanted everyone to stand. They did. I loved it.

We should all remember the True Meaning of Memorial Day: To Honor and Remember Those Americans Who Died Defending Freedom!

 

Marilyn Baron - May 26, 2014 - 8:29 am

That’s a lovely story about the pledge.

I watched an interesting TV program last night about two medics who were dropped into a small town in France the night before the D-Day invasion. That reminded me of my father’s experience. He was a top-turret gunner on a B-17 that flew over France in advance (in the early morning hours before the invasion)of the D-Day invasion to drop bombs on the enemy. So Memorial Day always means a lot to me. I enjoyed your post.

Piper - May 26, 2014 - 12:15 pm

A wonderful post about Memorial Day and the fortitude that it takes to teach these young people today. There is so much they don’t know, so I’m grateful you were there to teach them about something larger than themselves. Awesome, Maxine!

Tami Brothers - May 26, 2014 - 12:55 pm

This is lovely, Maxine. I really enjoyed reading about your teaching experience. I’ve seen that rebellion first hand and it does get a little frustrating. I have to add that hearing the teens my son hangs out with today talk about the “real” meaning of memorial day warms my heart. Yes, I live in a military town, so maybe we are a tad bit more aware of the “real” meaning of the holiday. But it is nice knowing there are a few who respond and feel the same way.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Tami

Maxine Davis - May 26, 2014 - 3:24 pm

Marilyn, Wow, I would have loved to hear some of your father’s stories. How fascinating! Thank you for commenting and have a wonderful day.

Maxine Davis - May 26, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Piper, Thank you so much for commenting. I loved teaching – it was all the other stuff that I didn’t enjoy. Yes, the teenagers were always surprising and, actually, really good kids. But I really enjoy retirement :)

Maxine Davis - May 26, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Tami, Oh my, you are living it every day but the teenager you have is totally awesome!!! Yes, It gives me a thrill when I see the teens acting like real adults. We are having a great day – hope you are, too!

Pam Asberry - May 26, 2014 - 10:57 pm

Beautiful post, Maxine. Thank you for sharing your experience, and for the reminder.

Maxine Davis - May 27, 2014 - 8:05 am

Pam, Thank you for commenting. Hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend.

Connie Gillam - May 28, 2014 - 11:24 am

Maxine-

Sorry I’m so late posting, but I’ve been without internet service for four days.
Thank you for that beautiful post. My husband is a Viet Nam vet. This year and every year since its inception, he rides his Harley to DC for the Rolling Thunder. Thousands of bike riders travel in mass to the Viet Nam Wall to pay their respects to their fallen comrades.
So the true meaning of Memorial Day is very much felt in this house.

Sandy Elzie - May 30, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Hi Maxine,
Sorry I’m late to the picnic. This is a special day for me as I know a couple of high school friends that paid the ultimate price.

For me, it’s a day to put my flag out and display my support…even in such a small way…but to proclaim to my neighbors and anyone who passes that I’m a proud American and I mourn those who gave it all…but also those who are still alive and suffering from injuries or mental challenges related to their service.

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