Memorial Day found us in Caldwell, Idaho instead of Madison, Wisconsin as planned. We decide it was important for our children to learn about the importance of Memorial Day. When I saw that Hillcrest Memorial Garden had a scheduled Memorial Day observance it became a done decision.
Why Hillcrest? My grandparents (Dad’s side) are buried there; as are my Aunt & Uncle. One of the things I wanted to do was visit their gravesides. We stopped to get flowers but the Walmart had none left. So I ended up with a couple bunches of patriotic silk flowers.
As you can tell it was a very busy day. I was humbled by the people I saw. One girl was laying beside the grave talking. It made me sad. There was the one family who was set-up with chairs around the graveside. It was truly a great day of remembrance.
There were flags everywhere! After all, this was Memorial Day. The service started at 1:00. As I couldn’t find my grandparent’s tombstone quickly, we were late.
This meant we didn’t get to see the bikers ride in with their flags.
We did arrive in time for a beautiful music ensemble. The kids quickly asked when we could leave. Sigh.
This is a retired army chaplain. His speech was AMAZING! Let me put it this way. If one were of the belief that our country is evil, that our Judeo-Christian heritage is something to be ashamed of, that God doesn’t exist, that anything "American" value related was bad … then this speech would have sent one through the roof. It was DEFINITELY a speech I wouldn’t hear in Portland. Not in a million years.
I found it inspiring. Even if I don’t hold his particular view of Christianity, his call for being vigilant about defense of our heritage was timely. We had just talked to the kids about the importance of keeping freedom alive in our country. Yes, we need to respect one another and our government. But when it crosses the line and takes away the liberty of its citizens, then a citizen must stand up and defend liberty.
One thing that was slightly annoying was the use of urban legend to make his point. In particular that Mr Rogers was a war hero. According to everything I’ve read, that is completely false. Sigh. Because it made a huge impression on my son.
The Boy Scouts were there for the service. Given their recent trouble with our culture and their compromise with a certain population demography, I was surprised to see them. These two played the bagpipes. There is NOTHING like Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Nothing. It’s beyond words.
While they folded the flag, the troop leader read, "Why We Fold The Flag 13 Times". Again, living in a very liberal area, I don’t see this being acceptable at all. But since we were in Idaho, and they are still very much patriotic and somewhat religious, it seemed to be ok.
And this my friends, is why I wanted my children to attend a Memorial Service. In Idaho. Where it’s ok to stand for the Red, White and Blue. That young man holding the flag? He is one of three children adopted. It made me smile. While some of my fellow Americans are decrying the values of our country, here stood a young man not afraid to carry the flag. One who understands what it’s like to be born in a country where freedom is not a reality.
THIS is what I wanted my children to understand. Memorial Day is SO much more than about hot dogs (which is what Missy thought it was for). It’s about standing up for a gift that our country was given: the gift of liberty.
In the end I was able to watch the riders leave with their flags trailing behind. I never thought that I would love the sound of motorcycles. I’m becoming such a rebel. LOL