Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

We will get to how I spent my long weekend later.  Tonight, I want to take a few minutes to honor some of those who have served our country with valor and pride.

This is my Grandpa Gus.  He served in the Navy during World War II.  He was colorblind (my mom and her siblings thought that Sea Bees were CBs or colorblind sailors), and therefore didn't go to the front lines.  However, he was stationed in Japan, could type 90 words a minute on the typewriter, and took amazing pictures like this:

He's where I get my love for photography and my love for travel.  He came home, had some wild times with his best friend, Bob (who you'll meet in a minute), married my grandma, and spent the rest of his life farming, traveling, and being a darn good grandpa.  I wish that I would have been old enough to ask him to tell me some stories about the war, but I was only 15 when he died and you just don't think about those things when you are 15, and wouldn't appreciate them even if you did. 

This is Bob, Grandpa Gus's best friend.  Bob was a Marine and did see action in the South Pacific.  There's hardly a single family dinner that Bob didn't attend.  He still does, when his health allows.  He never married, but I hear he was a hit with the ladies!  I really need to go see him this summer and ask him to tell me some of his stories just to know them. 

This is my dad's dad, my Grandpa Chuck.  He had married Grandma Betty just two weeks before he shipped out with the Army Air Corps (later called the Air Force).  He thought he was going to Japan too, but as it turned out he was sent to Panama, where he stayed for two years.  When I moved into my house, I found pictures that he sent home to my grandma of his time there.  This one's my favorite:

He died just four months after Grandpa Gus, and I didn't get to hear his stories either.  But I am so thankful that I have pictures to look back on.  Their legacies will live on.

But there's something really special about this Memorial Day.  Today, my friend, Brady came home from a 14- month tour in Afghanistan with the US Army.  He came home to his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Jovey. and a host of family and friends who are so thankful that their prayers were answered.  We have counted down the days, then hours, with Amanda, and I asked her if I could share one of their pictures from today.

If that doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will.  When we think of Memorial Day, we of course think of those who have served and died for our country.  We think of the graves, those marked and those unknown in Arlington and in cemeteries all over the world.  We honor those who kept our country free with the ultimate sacrifice.  But today, it's also about being thankful for those who made it home.  For those whose lives continue to shape who we are as a nation. For Brady.

2 comments:

  1. I loved this post and really liked all the old photos you shared!

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  2. Thanks! I'm glad you liked the post. I have been scanning and working on the old pictures for some time now. Hoping to do a little more of that this summer too!

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