“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children” – William Harvard
Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day that I try to remain fairly silent. I usually don’t post a blog post or post on social media. But I wanted to share about our weekend with you all. It is the culmination of Military Appreciation Month, Military Spouse Appreciation and remembering those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I think its tough for those with not a lot of experience with the loss of a military loved one. They have been surrounded by Memorial Day sales, and marketing of BBQ supplies, and Happy Memorial Day’s and meme’s featuring service members. When someone does thank my husband or myself we graciously accept while politely including the real reason for this day. We know what loss is, but we also realize that those that haven’t faced it first hand won’t be as acutely aware of it. Something I say every year and I’ll say it again ~ If Memorial Day is the reason they remember to go out of their way to thank a service member or reach out to a military family, I’ll take it. But I will also take the opportunity to politely educate. I have been forever changed by the experiences in my life, and I am incredibly blessed by what I have. I will not forsake those blessings, and will live my life as a witness for those that can not be here.
We are so fortunate to be so close to Arlington National Cemetery, and it is a place that we go often. We feel the opportunity can not be missed, for our children to see and be a part of all that happens. Going to Arlington on Memorial Day is one of those such opportunities. Today was particularly important to me, as we were visiting to grave of Staff Sgt Florich from the Louisiana National Guard. I had previously written an article about him after being moved by the story of his remain being denied burial rites in Arlington. It just so happened that I had had another small connection to the same event that took his life. I had previously met one of the Marine’s involved, and his wife, as he was being honored as Marine of the Year for the USO. My short encounter with them touched me and I was so affected by his death. I am continually in awe of his beautiful wife and the whole MARSOC Raider community. Last memorial day SSGT Florich was not yet in Arlington, but this time he was and I was able to spend some time with him today.
If you have the opportunity to expose your children to this I strongly encourage you to do so. My mother has been taking me and my sister to visit various graves of friends and families since we were small. We have both continued this tradition with our own families. No military connection needed. Don’t let a lack of military connection stop you. Many of us have some sort of connection to the military these days, and even if you don’t and you’re reading this, you have me!! Please feel free to contact me anytime and ask me anything. Attend a Memorial Day Parade, a local military museum, look into volunteer opportunities at the USO or other local military non-profits in your area.