|A good place to reflect from|
Admittedly, Memorial Day is not a paid holiday at the ranch (nor is any other holiday). I started the morning out making a couple 'business' calls and didn't get answers at the feed store or the vet clinic shortly after 8:00. Thinking this was strange, I walked over to the calendar on the wall and was quickly reminded that today is a very cherished holiday for the United States of America. I was GLAD both businesses were NOT open today and their employees given the opportunity to observe Memorial Day.
I had a grandfather who I never met (he died before I was born) that served in WWII. He had the unfortunate detail of being a foot soldier, some of the first boots on the ground into Hiroshima after the dropping of the atomic bomb there. My dad is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving the US Army in Thailand. He served surveying and building jungle air strips for aviation supply lines for the armed forces. Both returned home safely from their duties.
Both of Pete's grandfathers were veterans of WWII as well, one a tail gunner on the European front (who was shot down and became a POW) and one as a sailor in the Pacific. They too returned from their service duties and started their families on the North Dakota plains much like my 'service side' of the family did.
I don't know about you, but every time I attend an event where the National Anthem is sung, or attend a military funeral, I choke up with thoughts of my service family members and all those other 'unknown' heroes who have paved the way for my freedom. I try to keep in mind when I am frustrated about the current political climate and the financial position of our country, that 1% of the US population today is still making the sacrifices that 3 of our 4 grandfathers and my father made. I am hoping the best for their families and thanking God for mine (as it could have been so easy for fate to change the outcome of the futures of 'our veteran' family members).
I think of them frequently and silently thank them during quiet moments, usually from my saddle, surrounded by the beauty of this ranch, a place that wouldn't be the same with any other flag flying over it's soil.
So today, in observance of Memorial Day, I thank our past and present service men and women publicly and hope you will too.