MEMORIAL DAY, 2017

My Memorial Day is over. Here in Denmark it is no holiday, but my thoughts were upon this subject today as I shod horses.
Many times while traveling on the trains in Germany I have thought many times of what some downed air crews must have thought as they looked over the German country side. Did they see what I was seeing? I was visiting a friend North East of Frankfurt once. One evening we took a walk through town and the local cemetery where I saw three Veteran graves. My friend told me every year on Memorial Day flowers are placed.
I have visited the cemetery at Normandy – a very humbling experience. While on a different Battle Staff ride I visited sites where G.I.s made last stands trying to slow down the German offensive during the Battle of the Bulge. Having to research this Battle I was very humbled to read the battle accounts and then stand on the very ground where the actions happened. I have also communicated with my cousin who was an infantryman during this battle. We had a great talk after I had been there. I told him where I’d been and he knew the area very well. I have another cousin whose husband was a POW in Germany during the war, he was also an infantryman. I feel proud to have talked with both of these great veterans before they passed on – I pay both of them homage as they were up front in the real thick of the action. I think of my family who fought for the union during the Civil war, who served in the “Silent Service”, members of the National Guard, my family veterans who have gone to Valhalla.
As I travel south from my house many times I pass a memorial alongside the road. Once I stopped and read it. It was to an aircrew whose plane crashed during WWII a few hundred meters from the spot – all were killed. Now every time I passed the place I sit in the position of attention and render the crew as snappy salute as I can. I will talk to them, “Good Day Boys, see you on the return.” On the return I will salute them again and give them a , “Take care until the next time”
Since living in Denmark, traveling throughout Europe I have seen battle grounds, grave yards, talked with retired vets (expats) – to me Memorial Day has expanded. After I came home from my war, seeing the death and destruction war causes, I have so much more respect for those vets who preceded me; those who are still in uniform putting their lives on the line for me daily; and for those who are to follow, who will protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America.
In the political times we have now, one thing is for sure: my Brothers /Sisters – in – Arms have all sworn to do this mission, no matter their political beliefs. My only regret is I have never had the chance to be “home” for a Memorial Day and help place flags on the graves of those who have passed before me.
I STAND AND SALUTE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED BEFORE ME ON THIS DAY.