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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Placing Flags to Honor Our Heroes

Today we placed flags at 100 military graves.  We were not alone.  The local veteran organizations come together with other volunteers to place flags on over 3000 graves!

This is not a 4H experience, however, I feel honored to see my sons doing their civic duty each year during Memorial Day weekend.  We have been doing this for ten years and we always feel so blessed to be a part of this event.

I was not happy with my feeble pregnant body for not being able to walk around the cemetery and bend down to place flags.  I had to let the boys do all the work.  I was the official photographer instead.  Normally we stay until all the graves are given honor with a flag.  This year by the time we finished the 100 flags, I was worn out and we had to leave.  Next year, babe in arms, I will be back in action placing those flags.

Why is this so important to us?  I think that we can never express our gratitude for these men and women for the sacrifices they made for our country.  I hate that this holiday has just become a 3-day weekend to mark the start of summer vacation.  I have seen more attention to the military in recent years, but it is still hard to see sale ads and party invitations with little regard to the real meaning of this holiday.

For our family, we take the time to remember.  As we place those flags on each individual grave, we stop to remember that there is a person we must honor and show respect.  We call out their name and read their engraved message.  We remember that they fought for our country so we could be free.  Some of these men and women died in action.  Others were fortunate to have the praise and honor they deserved when they returned and went on to be great leaders for their families, communities and our country.  Others came home afraid to tell their stories and sacrificed their memories.  Others were told that they were wrong to fight and lived with the guilt the rest of their lives.  All were brave in their own way and we remember them because we love this freedom that did not come free.

These men and women are remembered by this 4H family because they have shown how to 'make the best better' in ways we cannot imagine.  May God bless them all!

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