memorial Day


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.


Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

6 Responses to memorial Day

  1. Anonymous May 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Remember please our Uncle Fred for his service in Viet Nam. Uncle Virgil in the Atlantic and during “D” WWII. Our distant cousins who were one who died and the other injured during the Lebanon Barracks explosion. God has blessed us with many in our family to be proud of.

  2. Maureen Mieszala May 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Wonderful post, Nicole. Please remember my sons who have served in Afghanistan. Also, those that died during my oldest’s deployment: Josh Lukeala, Robert Barton, Scott Jirtle, Blaine Redding, Michael Catlett, Ben Osborn, Eric Shaw, Ofren Arrechaga and more.

  3. Constance Hollenbeck May 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this Nicole!!! Part of our conversation today was how important Memorial Day and the American Legion and Auxiliary have been and important in the lives of our family. Emily was awarded a ROTC award of excellence from one of the American Legion Auxiliary units in Omaha in the last month. I would like to add your Uncle Fred who served in the Army in the 60’s. We had such a wonderful day in Fontanelle and at your Mom and Dad’s in Greenfield today. All five of we children and our spouses, your Grandma, Veda, Roger and Emily enjoyed dinner together. Before the Memorial Day services we put flowers on the graves in Fontanelle and because of rain the Legion services were held at the community center in Fontanelle. My uncle Ivan Chafa’s flag was one dedicated today and would have been flying the first time if the service would have been at the cemetery. Other family members at the service were Uncle Ivan’s daughter and son-in-law, aunt Susie and Uncle Marlan and of many from the community. It was a great day and we also remember all family members and friends that have entered their eternal home. Thank you again and I am proud to be a member of a family who has had so many serve our country. I could go on and on with close family names but will just add one more Eugene Mangels, mom’s 1st cousin gave his life in WWII.

  4. Nicole Plymesser Nelson May 27, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Thank you so much Aunt Connie! I wish I could have been there!

  5. Nicole Plymesser Nelson May 27, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Thank you so much Maureen! I will remember all of them.

  6. Nicole Plymesser Nelson May 27, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Thank you Doug for your service and helping remind me! I am proud of you!

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