Memorial Day


I come from a pretty patriotic family.  My grandfather served in the Army in World War II .  My grandmother, his wife, held down the fort and was a regular Rosie the Riveter.

George (Army) & Edith (Ladies Auxiliary VFW)

She raised 6 kids, 2 of which went on to serve in the military, with another 2 grandkids who currently serve in the military.


Not bad for a legacy.  But what I remember most about her was her service and dedication to veterans.

There wasn’t a position within the Ladies Auxiliary (ladies side of VFW or Veterans of Foreign Wars) that she did not hold.  She was President of the St.Albans post (for several terms) and also served as State President for a year.  My mother has since picked up the baton and has served the same post in St.Albans as president with her sisters serving alongside of her.  And truth be told I’ve been a lifetime member of the VFW since my early 20’s.

Mom now President of the St.Albans VFW Ladies Auxiliary (middle) and serving alongside her are my Aunts.

When I was little I learned the Pledge of Allegiance before I went to Kindergarten (just as Aden has also known it since he was 3) and one of the first songs I ever sang was the Star Spangled Banner, all because Edith, my grandma, felt it was of utmost importance that I know them.

Even with all that my Grandmother taught me about patriotism to this country, I found that there was still quite a bit I didn’t know about today’s holiday…Memorial Day in case you just woke up.  Here’s an abbreviated Cliff Note version of the history of this day.

  1.  It’s a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our nation (not those currently living or serving or anyone who has died in general).
  2. Officially established in 1868 in response to the Civil War.
  3. The official flower of the holiday is the Poppy, which people wear in observance of those who have died during wartime.
Veterans make these flowers and sell them to benefit veteran affairs.

4. Originally called Decoration Day in which the graves of the fallen were decorated with wreaths and flags (going back as far as the   civil war).

Arlington National Cemetery (top), Kanchanaburi National Cemetery (for POWs of River Kwai Bridge building Thailand), Normandy Cemetery (for those who stormed the coast of Normandy in WWII, France)

Unfortunately what this day has turned into is just another 3 day weekend with very little observation for those who have fought and died for the freedoms we have.  Whatever your thoughts are about war and overseas combat you can’t deny the fact that there are brave men and women who put themselves in harms way to protect you and me.

There’s no soapbox here folks.  Just a reminder that today is more than just a glorious Monday off from work.  It’s a day of remembrance for those who serve you and me selflessly.  Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform.  To all of those who have lost their lives and to all of those defending us and serving us right now.  Thank you and many blessings on you.

Today, don’t forget to thank a veteran.  Take a moment to pray for those serving or those who’ve lost their lives.  Maybe even go to a good old fashioned Memorial Day parade and cheer on the vets in your area.

Is there someone out there you’d like to remember today?  If so please leave his or her name in the comments along with their branch of the military.  We’d like to remember them with you.  I’ll start…

Today I remember my Grandfather George (pictured above passed away 2007).  And I remember my Dad, Bill (Marine passed away 2010).

My handsome Dad…the Marine


  1. Great post, Shannon! It’s so interesting to hear about your family and how they have all served this country in different ways.

  2. thank you for the wonderful reminder. We celebrate Memorial Day with my grandfather, who is a veteran of the Korean War. It’s also his birthday week so we always have a birthday party for him. He’s on his way over right now.

    I hate how this day has just turned into a weekend for sales.

    Thank you to all who have served and are currently serving….and thank you to all of the families who wait for their return.


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