Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I'm not one to continually post of those in military service. Sometimes I even find it irritating though I do appreciate what they do. However, I've found that people have forgotten what Memorial Day is about. It is a time to remember those veterans who have passed away. Those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedoms and those who survived that fight and were fortunate enough to enjoy those freedoms afterwards.

This Memorial Day marks a landmark for me. It is the first that I remember my favorite war veteran, my grandfather. A man whose joy for life and all encompassing love enlightened many a life. Unfortunately, he passed last August just before his 88th birthday. He was a man who I hope I have raised my boys to be half as good as. Who cared deeply for those around him.

He would tell stories of his service but at the same time saw no reason for the current war. A man who thought being American meant that it was quite normal to disagree with your President, vote not for a party but a person, and tell any elected official where to shove it when they voted for a lobby and not their voters. He showed me what it was to be a patriot. He showed my boys what it is to be a patriot. To impress upon them that service to your country was honorable and yet to not chase after it. That service can be necessary and yet glory at the price of humanity a terrible thing.

His stories told of the humorous side of war when discussing how he met General Patton at the end of WWII and was fined. They also told of the horror of the concentration camps when he helped to liberate Dakau and was met by a Polish survivor covered in body lice and looking like a skeleton.

Here is to his memory on this Memorial Day. May all of those whose loved ones are currently fighting come home safely so we may celebrate them at Veteran's Day. For those who don't may we remember the great service they have done for all of us.

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