This weekend the local VFW was selling the little poppies at stop lights here in Lockport. Every time I went through on my way back and forth to baseball I got one. And a whole flood of memories came back:
I remember making the crepe paper versions with my grandmother and her passing them out.
I remember going with our family to put iris, peonies or other flowers from her garden on the graves at the Fontanelle, IA cemetery.
I remember the full size flags lining the walk.
I remember playing my trumpet for the Grimes, IA services growing up. And going to Girls State in Cedar Falls.
I remember the few stories my grandfather Max (Pacific WWII) and Jeff’s grandfather August (Europe WWII) told. And the stories of my grandfather John (US WWII).
I remember the service of family members: Jim –Jeff’s dad, Doug–my cousin, Jason–my brother-in-law.
More family members; Kathy, Dick, Jay, Lee, Kenny, Guy. And all of the others who were before WWII.
I remember when we lived in Flushing, MI (in the cemetery basically) they put a small flag for ever single service member lining their driveways. It was overwhelming. There were graves from the civil war in that ground.
I remember when I saw the names of friends/classmates who deployed to Afghanistan.
I remember going to the Memorial Day parade and service with Mom and Dad in Elgin, IL.
I am so proud to be an American. As I get older I realize, understand and appreciate the gift that it is to live here. The gift defended by so many. Each of those men and women is a GIFT to each of us. Thank you for your service. Thank you for our lives. Thank you for our freedoms. Thank you for protecting so many others and freeing others the world around.
Please, if you would like, add the names of others in the comments as we remember their service today in gratitude that they can be recognized by more.