My grandparents are buried in family plot in a corner of a farmer's field in Jefferson City, MO. Dad called it Decoration Day; school called it Memorial Day. Dad would toss my mattress into the back of his panel truck/car and off we'd go on a road trip to decorate the gravesite and to visit my country cousins.
Most Americans will be outdoors this weekend, weather permitting, celebrating fun and family, and remembering those who fought to keep us free.
I used to pledge allegiance to the flag, and I loved to sing patriotic songs without giving much thought to the meaning of the words or my freedoms.
Today I thank those who serve and have served in every branch of service.
I was a military wife. I remember hand washing my soldier's woolen uniform in a tiny trailer wash basin in Alaska, back in 1969-'70. That wet uniform weighed more than a sack of potatoes. Wringing it out was a challenge. Drying it indoors took days.
Dealing with the climate was a challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges of others who served during that period. While we were at the top of the world, others were battling in the Vietnam conflict.