Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 #memorialday

Sacrifice. It's not an easy word to live up to. It means to give up something important to oneself for the greater good. And, at the heart of human nature, no one wants to give up that which they enjoy or consider important.

For those here, now, today, I want to thank you; especially if you know a person or have a loved one who has served in the Armed Forces and that person has given their life for their country. Their sacrifice has ensured the freedoms you enjoy. Do them proud and live your life to the fullest with honesty and integrity.

It takes a certain "mindset" to be in the military. Not only does one need physical strength and stamina, but mental toughness is required as  well. It's not an easy job. If you have an opportunity, visit a memorial and lay some flowers or a flag on your loved one's resting place. You'd be surprised by the comfort given to your soul by such a simple gesture.

And comfort was what those loved ones after the civil war were searching for. The citizens of Waterloo, NY in 1866 are given credit for beginning the tradition that led to Memorial Day. Wanting to honor their dead from the Civil War, they decorated the graves of the fallen with flowers, flags, and offered a moment of silence. Soon, decorating graves naturally grew into honoring those who died in all conflicts that the U.S. had been involved in.

Originally known as "Decoration Day," the name was changed to Memorial Day in 1966 buy President Lyndon Johnson. Also, Memorial Day was moved from 30 May to the 4th Monday in May to create a 3 day weekend. As an informal tradition, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

I served in the US Army from 1986-1997 and spent 7 years stationed in Germany along with a 3 month deployment to Hungary. Being in the military isn't an easy life, but it can be very rewarding. I learned things about me, and the world around me, I hadn't even realized before. Concepts such as discipline, responsibility, honor, and sacrifice are embedded in my bones. It led to be a 911 dispatcher for LAPD, a job I've done for 14 years now.

For those currently in the Armed Force and those veterans who have served – thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice.

Several US Presidents come to mind when I think of Memorial Day. They include: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, William McKinley, and James A. Garfield. They had served in the military (For Lincoln, I count his service as commander in chief) and they died in office, sacrificing their lives for their country.

Question for you: Do you know someone who has died serving their country? Or a veteran now? Share their name and what branch of service they were in.

Bonus: (I'm dating myself, I know) Season 1 of Wonder Woman featuring Lynda Carter took place during World War II. What brand of service was Wonder Woman's alter ego, Diana Prince in? What was her rank?

Have a great Memorial Day.  Enjoy the day, but take a few minutes out to remember those who passed on, even the Presidents. Their sacrifice ensured your freedoms


  1. Beautiful post, Steph. As the Pope Francis visits the Holy Land and preaches about PEACE together with the Greek Patriarch, we remember the young men and women who gave their lives so their brothers could live with freedom and peace.

  2. Steph, your post is a lovely one. Thank you for your service to our country. I had an uncle who came home from WWII a changed man, but he was a sweetheart.

    Thanks to all of those who give their lives to our country.

  3. I think it ate my comment from my cell phone, so I'll try again and apologize now for any duplicates.

    My great grandpa was in WW1 and I lost two great uncles in WW2. Their deaths kept my grandpa from going off to war to join them. He was in getting his medical when they found out about his brothers. My dad served in the National Guard at a time when any military was frowned on. He never served active combat but speaks fondly of his days in the Guard.

    Thank you Steph for the duty you do today and in the past... being a dispatcher is a loyal service and one much like being in the military we couldn't live without!

  4. Thanks for your service, Steph. I'm lucky enough not to know anyone who's died serving their country, but I am surrounded by people who've served. Thank you, each and every one of you, for putting your life on the life to assure freedom.

  5. What a great post. God bless our men and women who have served and is still serving.Thanks for sharing.

  6. Mona,
    Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air. It was so heartwarming to see him visit the Holy land. We are lucky to have him.

    Sandy, you're welcome. I hope your uncle didn't struggle much after the war. I know that it's hard after you've been involved in such intense situations.

    Melissa, you're welcome. Your Dad was a strong man to serve in th NG during a time when it was frowned upon. Thanks so much for sharing your family's service.

    Maggie, thanks so much for visiting and you're welcome. Being in the military is an experience I am very grateful to have.

    Rose, thank for stopping by. Yes, God bless our men and women who have served and are serving.

    Smiles to all