Learn Something New Every Day!


300px-WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raisingWhen first created in May 1868, this holiday was called Decoration Day and was meant to commemorate fallen heroes who served during the Civil War.  It was after World War I that the holiday was renamed Memorial Day and became a day to honor and remember all fallen veterans.  My dad, Raymond F. Ross, was one of those veterans.  He served in World War II; in fact, he was at Iwo Jima when the flag was raised there, caught in the now iconic image of the day.

Dad in UniformAs a kid growing up, I always knew Dad had served in the military.  He was patriotic, flying the flag for all appropriate holidays when my parents lived in their house and then their apartment. He was outspoken about preserving our rights.  He supported the American government, no matter what.  But it was not until I was in 4th grade doing a report on Japan that I talked with him about his time in the war.  He shared with me the items he had brought home—a bayonet, family photos taken off Japanese soldiers, a few photos of Dad in uniform.  There wasn’t much to share.  He was not gung-ho about his time in the war—he shared just the facts of where and when and the basics of his actions.  It was apparent that his service had been his duty to his country, an obligation he willingly met.

service group

dog tagsI’m thinking of Dad a lot today as it is the first Memorial Day since his death—and what would have been his 94th birthday was just the other day.  I’m very proud of my dad and his military service. Others in the family have served as well:  grandfather, uncles, cousins, even a niece-in-law.  I have friends, colleagues and even students who continue to serve their country through military service today.  Even though I am not a fan of war and I do not think our military should be deployed everywhere they are currently serving, I am proud of all who have served and who continue to serve and appreciate their service and sacrifice..

Coral Reef National Park 289

These soldiers—past and present—deserve our honor, respect, and ongoing support.  Letting them know how appreciative we are is what Memorial Day is all about.  So today—while you travel and enjoy barbeques and take advantage of a holiday sale—remember to honor those who serve.  Fly the flag. Shake hands with someone in uniform and say “Thank you!”  Tend a gravesite, attend a Memorial Day Parade, or visit one of the many memorials set up to honor our veterans.  Donate or volunteer for such worthy programs as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Honor Flight.   Do something to show you care!

To help you celebrate Memorial Day, here is a video of Toby Keith singing “American Soldier.”  Enjoy!


Comments on: "MEMORIAL DAY 2014" (5)

  1. Beautiful and moving tribute to your father and to all veterans. A wonderful reminder of the meaning of this holiday.

  2. I echo Cheryl’s comment: A beautiful tribute to your dad, and a wonderful reminder about a holiday most Americans overlook. Very well said!

    On a more personal note: my heartfelt condolences on losing your father, Patti. I imagine he must have been immensely proud of you …

    • Thanks for stopping by. . .and your kind words. It does help a bit over the loss of my dad to know that he was proud of me and appreciated my visits with and care for him and my mom. Now when memories surface they are still bittersweet but mostly positive.

      • I hope that one day the sad part of your memories will fade, Patty, and that you’ll be left only with the sweet ones. ❤

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