Growing up Memorial Day was one of the most exciting times of year. It symbolized the start of summer, BBQ’s, camping, water skiing, and marshmallows! I don’t remember in all of my school years ever learning, from teachers or parents, that there was significance to the day.
Then I married an Army soldier and soon after September 11, 2001 the attack on our World Trade Center, happened. Memorial Day quickly took on a whole new meaning as Anthony left on his first 12 month deployment and a following 15 months soon after.
We were blessed in both deployments not to loose any of our company soldiers. But, our Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, did suffer lose. Memorial Day became real.
In 2009 our family PCS’d (moved) to Fort Irwin, CA. I HATED being stationed in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I HATED that the biggest store, a grungy-tiny Walmart, was an hour and twenty-four minutes away. But…I LOVED the wives on the installation. I LOVED that we were a small post, and close-knit. This is where I met Frank, Kryste, and their children. Frank had an infectious laugh, and colorful tattoos! Kryste was a giver, loving everyone, and our children played together.
In the summer of 2011 we PCS’d to Fort Leavenworth, KS and Kryste and her family PCS’d to Fort Lewis, WA.
December 2011, right before Christmas, we got the most heart-wrenching call I’ve ever answered. Frank had died in a mission.
Memorial Day matters. The day, the weekend, has a significance.
Memorial Day is a remembrance of all those who gave their life for our freedom. And a time to honor those spouses and children that they left behind.
Teach your children the importance of the day. Celebrate with camping and bonfires but don’t neglect to honor those who defend our country and our freedoms with the ultimate sacrifice.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
If you are in the Omaha area, join our family at Memorial Park, 56th Street and Underwood Avenue, on Monday May 28th, 11 a.m. to noon. Service with 21-gun salute, speakers and music sponsored by Heroes of the Heartland or check out many of the other observances in the area.