May 29, 2012

Flying Flags

Did you know that on Memorial Day each year the flag is raised to the top of the flagpole briskly at the beginning of the day and then lowered slowly to half-staff position until noon and then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day?  I thought that was interesting.  I have never paid attention to the time of day and the position of the flag.  The half-staff position remembers more than one million men & women who have gave their lives in service of their country.  When the flag is raised again at noon, it shows that the people living will not let their sacrifice be in vain.

I know a few people currently serving, plus countless people over the years and some family members of mine.  My uncle spent all of my childhood overseas and in Seattle.  It was always a treat when he came to visit and he always remembered to send postcards from faraway places.  I clearly remember being in elementary school and bringing a postcard from Singapore into show-and-tell.  My grandpa was always pretty tight lipped about his time in the army, but we do know that he was growing up in a time where it was inevitable that you would serve your country.  He enlisted and was able to choose his area of focus.  He was part of the Army Language School and went to Korea.  He learned some Mandarin Chinese and Korean.  When he passed away last summer, we spent lots of time looking through old photos of him and lots of army pictures were included in the pile (even a few where he is enjoying a quick cigarette and beer.)  This is one of my favorites:

I am so grateful for all the sacrifice so many people have made to protect our freedoms and I think Memorial Day is a great time to reflect on the past and be thankful for the liberties that we have as Americans.  It is one day out of 365 (366 this year) that I am thinking of all those who are currently serving our country or have at some point in their lives and appreciating the amount of bravery and courage they show each and every day.

"The thing about remembering is that you don't forget." - Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.