Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day

well today is memorial day. actually -- it really isn't but its when the gov. chooses to celebrate it to make a three-day federal holiday so that ppl can have a three-day weekend. i read a whole lot about the history of memorial day at this site:

US Memorial Day History Website

some ppl in congress tried to get the day put back to its original day with a bill back in the 1990's -- but its basically been shelved -- who knows where. there is a petition at this website that u can sign to help get the day put back to May 30. part of the problem i have with it being a 3-day weekend deal is that the original intent of memorial day kinda gets laid aside for BBQs and days at the beach and u know.

i can remember the first memorial day parade i ever marched in. i was 4 years old. i had been taking baton twirling lessons from the head majorette at the high school where my dad taught. my outfit was custom made for me -- just like all the other little girls -- and it was a white two piece with a flouncy skirt. the top had red and blue sparkle rick rack on it. i wore white socks and brand new white sneakers (which was a big deal because we didn't have a ton of money). i had a baton that was like 3/4 the size of a grown ups and i was so proud. my dad has silent home movies of me marching in place and twirling that thing like crazy.

i didn't march in another parade until i was in high school. i carried a snare drum on my knee and basically had a good time banging it in time to the beat. i wasn't a real part of the band, but my dad figured after all the instruments i'd gone through in high school i could probably handle a snare drum. it was a real learning experience for me. a mile walk carrying and beating a snare drum is hard work!

the next parade i marched in was when i was a junior in high school. then i was a flag twirler. we wore hot wool long-sleeved uniforms and majorette boots with huge blue and white hand-made (out of yarn) tassels. i liked the sound that the boots made on the pavement as we marched along. i think most of us were ready to pass out after the mile long march in the blazing sun. but we all stood at attention during taps.

parades r cool and be a participant is great. but really, what we r honoring is so much more than a parade or a BBQ. being the daughter of a man who went through WWII, the niece of an uncle who was shot down and sent to a german POW camp, and the sister of a brother who served in Vietnam, i understand the price that a lot of families pay when they send their loved ones off to war and they r killed in action. my family was blessed in that no one died -- but so many families lose loved ones in times of war.

i've never been a big proponent of war either. i think a lot of women rn't -- especially moms. peace was something i thought we should always strive for --but i always understood that sometimes war had to happen in order for there to be peace. someone once said that i wasn't a patriot because i didn't believe in war. i disagree -- i always supported the troops and what they were doing. just because someone doesn't like war doesn't mean they r unpatriotic. and just because i don't believe in war doesn't mean that i don't want to honor the men and women who served our country. they were brave and valiant and deserve the recognition for the sacrifices they made. god bless them and their families.

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