Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Memorial Day

Monday morning I drove to the Boulder City Cemetery to join my mum and pappa-in-law for a Memorial Day service along with other residents of the town who gathered to remember those who died serving our nation. After the flag was raised, they sang the Star Spangled Banner (a song that never fails to make me choke me up) and a duet. There were comments from a local pastor and quotes from every president read followed by a 21-gun salute and then "Taps". It was a beautiful service that I felt humbled to be a part of.
Then Maggie and I drove to the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery a couple miles away to view the graves, decorated with flags as far as my eye could see. It was overwhelming. There would be another service later that day and though we'd love to stay for it ... we had very important company for dinner in the evening.
The day was clear and sunny ... as Maggie, John (who is also a veteran), and I sat outside by the pool. I felt the afternoon heat on my skin along with a deeper appreciation for my freedom and gratitude towards all the men and women who gave up their lives for our country. My thoughts are with Colonel (Aunt) Lisa who is overseas again and all the service personnel who are not home with our family as we are today.
This evening we were in the company of another veteran Chuck, who had served in WWII and the Korean War through which he earned two Purple Hearts. I asked him to share the story of how he and his buddy was shot down while flying over Corsica. They had taken a bullet in the gas tank and one of the engines died. They tried to land but only one of the landing legs engaged. Since the cockpit had filled up with fuel and soon after the second engine quit from compensating for the first engine, they had to eject from the plane and let it crash into the Mediterranean Sea or else they would blow up upon landing. Recently, Chuck was united with his flight mate (pictured on the right).
We were not only celebrating family and Memorial Day on this occasion, we were celebrating Chuck's 87th birthday!!

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1 comment:

Johnny said...

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. It is nice to be an American. I hope our freedoms continue. The way things have been going in the last yr, it just seems to be getting worse and worse.