Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Thank You For Your Service And Sacrifice
Memorial Day is a big one for me.
I don't shed tears very often, but every year at this time...

We've had this flag for a long time (Thanks Ray and Selma!) and flew it with pride quite often until the bracket that attaches to our house broke a couple years ago.
I found a steel replacement but hadn't bought it yet, then Memorial Day came rushing out of the future and I was suddenly in a bind.
So I did what I always do when something needs fixing in a hurry (or on the cheap) and started digging through our closets and garage.

Here we old tripod for band lights!
Added a cinder block to one leg, and it withstood 30mph gusts with ease.
And while the flag still means the same when it's on a short pole sticking out of the wall at a 45 degree angle, for some reason it really does look better on a vertical pole 10-12 feet up.
When the wind blew it for the first time, I got all choked up.
Then I ran for a stage light so I could leave it up all night.

I need to find an even taller steel pole at a good price, and stock up on concrete mix--gonna do it right as soon as I can.

This morning I went through my CDs looking for this photo taken by my late cousin James's daughter Melody:
Ken and me at Arlington National Cemetery, on the day in late 2004 when my father and his crew finally made it back to where they belonged.
38 long and painful years.

This photo captures the exact moment when I was finally free to start the second chapter of my life.
I remember clearly that the pain and rage which had always filled me was suddenly starting to fade, and we both broke into big smiles.

My prayer on every Memorial Day since has been that all the other families who's loved ones never came home will someday get the same relief.
Death in war is bad enough, but not knowing what happened or where they are is unbearable, because you can't move past it.
Thankfully, as administrations come and go and the years burn away, the people who find our missing loved ones are always out in the field searching.
They are the best detectives and archaeologists we have, in my opinion.
And their stated mission is to find them all.
May God Bless Them.


Dave said...

Great post.

Albatross said...

Dave's right. Great post. Thanks.

Bruce said...

Touching post, Keith. So glad you've been blessed with some relief and peace.