Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Marine Monday - Memorial Day carry over

I was pleased with all the wonderful facebook posts about Memorial day.  The different pictures, and links and shout outs.  It reminded me of what the country was like right after 9/11.  Do you remember?  We were united.  Everyone was feeling so patriotic.  Flags were everywhere.  It was truly a unique feeling that I don't know that I have or will ever experience again.  I hope so.  But I hope it doesn't take a terrorist attack or the holiday once a year to bring that feeling out in everyone.

For those of us who have loved ones serving in the military whether oversears, in the middle of the current conflict or even here at home, holidays like Memorial day, the Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem take on much deeper and powerful meanings.  We are stirred in our hearts perhaps more so than the average US citizen.  It means something to us on a whole other level.

When I checked Chloee into school late last week, her class was just getting ready to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The do it every day.  Every child participates.  I watched as Chloee quickly hucked her backpack in the general direction of her cubby so that she could quickly join them before they started.

I stood for a moment watching those sweet 3 and 4 year olds.  Face the American Flag, place their small hands over their hearts and together in unison recite:

"Ready begin.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  And to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible and with liberty and justice for all."

I looked at the faces of those little ones.  White, brown, black.  Eyes of different shapes and colors.  Hair of different colors and textures.  All those beautiful children were unique in their heritage and ethinic backgrounds.  However, for a few moments every morning, they are united in a single cause.  The cause of pledge their allegiance to THIS country.  To THIS, the United States of America.

These children don't care if their skin colors are different.  If they speak a different language in their homes.  If they have two mommies or two daddies, or if they live with Mimi and Poppa or Nana and Grandpa.  Those things don't figure in to their relationships.

I want to be more like them.

Today, those images in my head of watching the kids pledge their allegiance really stuck with me today as we passed flag after flag being displayed.    And cute Chloee, when we see a flag, she reminds us to place our hand over our heart.  She is extremely respectful and reminds us to be so as well.  I love that this is being instilled in her early.  She will go to Camp Pendleton prepared to become a part of a tight, united military family.

And then my thoughts turned to the children, wives, husbands, and families of those who have pledged their allegiance in the ultimage fashion.  Serving their country and giving the ultimate sacrifice.  Those were the ones that occupied much of my thoughts during quiet times in  the day.

I have often said how proud I am of Corbin and his decision to serve.  It has changed him.  It has changed me.  It has changed our family.  And all for the better.  We are more patriotic than ever before.  We notice the flag.  We notice those in uniform.  We pay more attention to what is going on overseas.  Our prayers include more often those men and women serving our country. We pray for those families who don't have their loved one come home. We pray that we will never be one of those families.

I hope your Memorial day was more than just dropping off a few flowers and having a family bbq.  More than just a movie out with the family, or even just a day off to do yard work or clean the house.

I hope that you allowed the message of what the day is truly about to sink in your hearts and soul.  That perhaps you felt a little more patriotic and that that feeling can carry on for more than just a weekend.

Semper Fi


Suz said...

Semper Fi

Teachinfourth said...

Every school day we sing the National Anthem and recite the pledge...it's nice.

I also remember the feeling of being united after 9/11.

tammy said...

I know exactly what you mean. I didn't pay as close attention to the meaning of Memorial Day or to our military until after Greg was serving. Growing up, a veteran was an old guy. I didn't even realize really that my Dad was in the National Guard at one point, but back then they weren't called up like they are now. My kids have a greater understanding of what it's like to serve our country than I ever did. And I get a little emotional whenever I see someone in uniform or fatigues.

Connie said...

Well said.
I get tears in my eyes each time I say the pledge of allegiance. That song on the video is really getting to me too.

My son's unit will be going to Afghanistan in 9 months. Not looking forward to that!

I'm through rambling. Have a great day!

just call me jo said...

I love the remembering and the celebrations on Memorial Day. Sometimes I don't treasure the men and women in uniform enough. But I try to be more aware. Thanks for the reminder.

Cheeseboy said...

One of the great joys of teaching is getting to recite the pledge every day. And if a kid is being disrespectful during the pledge, I lose it. No one is ever disrespectful again.

Yeah, I am hard core.

The Blanchard Family said...

Hey Melissa ;) It is interesting how things happen to us in our life that cause us to be more aware of the meaning of certain things. Memorial Day for me means something a little different than it does for you...but either way it is our experiences in life that create our passion. Thanks for the nice post to remind us to stand up for what we believe...and not be afraid to show our patriotism!

LKP said...

i concur. this was a beautiful tribute. and that song still makes me cry, even though my solider came home! ::hugs::

Cherie said...

I love this post for several reasons.
First - I love how you and your family feel about Corbin who is serving and about your country and the flag and that you are able to voice it so well.
Second - I also love my country and the flag and the Tim McGraw song and your post helps me to remember my own feelings.
Third - We don't have anyone in our family who is serving. Your second paragraph really hit me. I want to feel more and understand. I always cry when the servicemen come home to their families after being gone a long time - I feel so happy they are reunited. I am VERY grateful for those who are serving but I don't get it on the level you do for sure.
We always spend Memorial Day Camping with our family and I love that but this post makes me think - What more can I do!!

Love you girl - thanks for your thoughts!!

Garden of Egan said...

That was a beautiful post Em. No, the flag, seeing those in uniform.
I'll never be the same.

9-11 propelled my son to want to serve. He spent a year in Iraq and it looks like he'll be going to Afghanistan. I'm proud of him for doing it.

You've trained Miss Cholee well.

We are so proud of Corbin and he's always in our prayers.

Pedaling said...

after serving or having a close family member in the military,
it changes you forever.

tiburon said...

I always love your thoughts. I don't think about things this way - and I heart the perspective you give me.