When I was a kid, Memorial Day was all about our city's parade. And if you were a Girl Scout like I was, it meant marching in the parade. And if you ever got to carry the flag--it was the best ever Memorial Day!
This year I'll be singing the National Anthem to open the festivities honoring veterans of foreign wars at Eisenhower Park in Seal Beach, California. And I'll be wearing my POW bracelet. Remember those? We wore them in the 70s with the name of a captured or lost soldier in Vietnam.
I had Lt. Bill Metzger's name on my wrist for five years and watched on TV, with tears rolling down my face, as he landed and came off the plane at Andrew's Air Force Base. For those who returned, our bracelets have a white star added.
I took a poll to ask, "What is Memorial Day to you?"
Here are just a few of the responses:
"It's remembering for the sake of gratitude!"
"Lots of red, white and blue!"
"Recollections of national cemeteries like Arlington and the American Cemetery in Manilla."
"A 3-day weekend!"
For a six-year-old it was "eating hot dogs and waving flags because my daddy is in the Navy!"
But my favorite was this one:
"My family has a long line of people who've served in the Armed Forces--dating back to the Civil War, WW1 and WW2. I feel deeply routed in America's history because of my ancestors' commitment to protect and defend America and its freedoms. Some lost their lives, others made a life career of serving. So on Memorial Day, I pray for all our servicemen and women, their families who sacrifice so much, and for our freedoms for which they fight!"