Anyhow, it was a great life. My days growing up was a page right out of the "Happy Days" TV script. I loved growing up, and the beauty was that I was aware of, and knew the happiness I was experiencing. It was sad to think about ones less fortunate. My family wasn't wealthy. We were just happy. That's all one needed in a small Midwestern town of about 13,000. I remember one thing we always did on Memorial Day. We always drove to the cemetery and placed flowers on the graves of family members, now deceased. Mom and Dad were always quiet and talked in hushed tones. I only later learned what was going through their minds. As I matured, I began to feel my version of sadness when older cousins were killed in Korea. They were added to the list on the annual visit to the cemetery. The list began to get longer. While in college, I began to lose friends to Viet Nam. I knew I had to go after college. Then my turn came. I served my time in the USAF, and did absolutely nothing heroic. By this time, Memorial Day had changed it's meaning to me. The youthful excitement about a returning summer vacation was still with me. However, something had been added. My parents are now gone. I lose boyhood friends on a regular basis. My parents, grand parents, and many of my boyhood friends are now buried in the same cemetery that I used to visit as a youngster. It is too far to go to that cemetery, now. I visit when I can during scarce visits.
I still very much enjoy the returning of each Memorial Day. It rekindles the joy I experienced when I was 9 years old. I don't visit the swimming pools much anymore, but I sure visit Lake Ray Hubbard a lot. I have replaced my visit to the cemetery of my childhood with quiet introspective thoughts about our service men and women. I don't make a lot of noise about it. I don't feel I have to. I have nothing to prove. I don't shout out, "Hey, look at me!" But, I have a quiet respect for all of our armed forces personnel; that anyone having ever served, has a little special insight. I consider myself part of a special uniformed fraternity. I have a great deal of respect for members of that fraternity. Without announcement, I quietly pain for every member of the armed services that is killed serving you and me.
I don't go to the cemetery as I did as a kid, but I certainly revere the ones above. So, still. Every Memorial Day, I am happy about another Summer, but the reverence of others I knew as a kid , and the ones I have added since is still there.
Y'all enjoy yourselves on this Memorial Day holiday. Just nod to a flag somewhere this weekend to acknowledge that you know who fought and died to assure that you have this holiday. They would humbly appreciate it.