Note: This blog is dedicated to my Dad, Robert W. Dressel who fought in WWII in the Coast Guard; my Mom, Elizabeth Jane Dressel, a WAVE in the Navy during WWII; my Uncle Ernest Reynolds, Army, my father-in-law, William Tuk, Army, WWII, Uncle Pete Lewis, Army WWII, Uncle Bob Lewis, Army, WWI and cousin Brice Sinex who walked in the Bataan March; Grace Reynolds, my Grandmother, an Army nurse; William Tuk, WWII, in the Army, all deceased; and to my Uncle Gordon Reynolds, Air Force, my sole family survivor of the Korean War and WWII. The photo is of the flag my father flew every day over our house; the photos are my Uncle Gordon and my grandmother circa 1943 and 1961.
Memorial Day Weekend…..
I’m glad that there is a weekend to remember the fallen, the brave men and women who fought valiantly to keep our nation truly FREE. But in my view, we should remember all our veterans, fallen and alive, who have and continue to serve for the freedom and life we have.
These men and women, people like my mother, my father & father-in-law, my uncles, my grandmother and many other family members and friends, fought for the freedoms we so often take for granted. They sacrificed, often giving of their very lives in the wars, or in their later years, as proud veterans, so that we may freely speak, with English as our FIRST language, and have the many rights we do.
These heroes fought for the Declarations that were laid out by our Founding Fathers. Freedoms we would all be well to remember as we take time to re-read and digest the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the Pledge of Allegiance.
If you have children or grandchildren, nieces/nephews, or next door neighborhood kids, share with them as you recite the Pledge of Alligiance with them, sharing living history as you remember and lived it. The pledge states the United States is: ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL – not “some”, but all. “INDIVISIBLE”- means working together, in a civil and cooperative way. It doesn’t mean we have to all be the same, think the same or do or act the same way or do the same things, rather it means it is more than acceptable to work together, even if we come to an impasse, and “agree to disagree”, amicably.
We should remember to re-sing or hum the tunes to the songs such as The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful and God Bless America. I think our kids would be surprised we can still share songs that we sang when we were their age in school, without discrimination or offending anyone.
As families and friends walk on Memorial Walks today, or place flags at the headstones of the fallen, and a wreath laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier, let us not take lightly the sacrifices made, and the freedoms we enjoy, as we celebrate Memorial Day at picnics, parties or just relaxing.
Say a prayer of thanks for the freedom to speak freely, protected by the rights of the fallen, our living veterans and for the men and women who continue to fight today who so valiantly fight to:
“Let Freedom Ring”
It seems like just yesterday when Jamie and Tim would look with the gleam like Scott has in his eyes. Eyes of excitement, of wonder, of adventure, of treasures untold. One smile like their’s would melt away the doubts of how we would be as parents, of times of testing, of trying new things. While sometimes we were able to carry them upon our backs or in our arms, there were other times we had to let them walk it out on their own, hard as it was. Nevertheless, in the end, the ‘hike’ was well worth it, and well beyond words.
While sometimes they could only see coal, we saw the diamonds they are – even if there were times they were in the (very!) rough. There were times we wondered if WE were of any value, when all we had to do was dig a little deeper, look a little harder to uncover the hidden gifts inside.
This Mother’s Day weekend, wherever your children are, remind them of the treasure they are, deep within your heart. Remind them no matter what, home is where the heart is, and they will always have a home, deep within, yet gleaming brightly from inside out, forever and s’mores.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.