As I laid out in my bed after a long night and a very long morning which included a tour on the memorial which was very profound (tell ya about it in a minute), I just wanted to close my eyes for a bit. I turned on the TV, not able to shut down my brain, and show after show were saluting Memorial Day. The only thing patriotic about those shows were the fact that the audience was filled with military and their studio’s were decorated in Red White and Blue. But the segments each were about food, BBQ’s, clothes, sales, HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY comments, Happy Holiday comments and I couldn’t help but wonder, do they even have a clue about what Memorial Day is about? One show did mention what Memorial Day was and had a trivia quiz on the flag, which would have been fine if it hadn’t been followed by one of the hosts talking to two women who were showing the audience how to bake cookies. HUH? I was saying out loud… MEMORIAL DAY folks… TO HONOR AND REMEMBER… nothing, no one was doing any of this on any show and I shut the TV off because the last show ended with HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY… Then I remembered my tour today… a family brought their 5 boys on the tour… they took them out of school for this trip. I asked the parents permission to say certain things and if they weren’t comfortable, I would modify the tour. Their response? Absolutely not. Don’t change a thing. We bought them here for the truth. And so it began. I made the boys my helpers. They passed the pictures around, they were attentive, I forgot the other visitors. It was important for me to help these boys understand the meaning of honoring and remembering. At the end of the tour, visitors hugged me and Joe. And one by one the boys came up and asked if they could hug me. These are boys! Hugging adults is yucky!! Not these beautiful boys. One by one the hugs came. Then the oldest asked me, “Can I shake your husband’s hand because I think he’s a hero.” I whispered he could but if he wanted to hug him he could do that also and he replied, “Oh no, he’s too tall.” They asked questions that kept me on my toes. And at the end, the youngest one said, ‘Mom, this was better than class. I can’t wait to tell my teacher I met two hero’s and learned about history.” I lost it then. Those are the moments that validate what Joe and I do. Those are the moments when we know that we made a difference. And when I saw some Marines walk by and out of habit, I stopped my conversation and said, ” Sempir Fi. Thank you for your service.” the young men’s faces glowed and I called them over and said, “These men are serving our country.” Without prompting any of them, they walked up to the Men, shook their hands and thanked them for their service. The Marines smiles were from ear to ear and a dialog began. As we walked away, just as we were getting ready to cross the street. One of the boys ran up to me and said, “I’ll never forget you. Please get better. And I hope and pray this never happens again. I promise you, I’ll be good and I’ll do good.” And that’s what Memorial Day is about… Honor and Remember. Never Forget. It took 5 young men, to remind me that there are good people out there and it’s not about the BBQ’s, the sales or the unofficial start of summer…




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