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 onthe 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!