Anyone who knows me well is fully aware how much I love celebrations! In my pre-author life, I was
This past weekend, however, was a celebration of another kind. At the mention of Memorial Day, many people today think of barbecues, parades, no work, no school, and travel. All of these are wonderful things, no doubt about it. But of course, the most important purpose of this particular holiday is to properly honor our military servicemen and –women.
I’m proud to say that our two young sons, as part of the Cub Scout tradition, participate each year in an activity that does precisely that. On the Thursday before Memorial Day, they join hundreds of other Scouts at a national cemetery to pay tribute to those whose bravery helped secure the freedom we all enjoy today.In the inevitable downpour, the Scouts grab their allotted stick flags and one by one place them at the grave markers of American veterans. As if this alone isn’t enough to touch my heart, the kids also salute those veterans individually and thank each one aloud by name. Within an hour, 150,000 flags were standing at attention and waving for veteranS whose service hasn’t been forgotten.
All that said, I think it’s also important for us to remember that honoring our military men and women should occur on more than one day of the year.
My own grandfather’s WWII letters actually inspired me to write my first novel, and I have since tried my best to spotlight the sacrifice of WWII veterans in all of my books. Last year, I had the opportunity to take our kids to visit thegravesite of that same grandfather, and the boys spent at least fifteen minutes arranging the flowers they brought to look “just right.” We’ve also thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring a soldier serving in Afghanistan by sending letters and care packages with goodies and essentials from home.
In other words, there’s much we can all do in both small and large ways – starting with a simple yet heartfelt “Thank you.”
Now available: Letters From Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves,
The Christmas Collector (novella in A Winter Wonderland anthology)
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