There are a lot of things to be thankful for on Memorial Day, as with any day of the year. Here are a few facts that I took from the History Channel website:
Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.
I have respect for Memorial Day, in the sense, that I appreciate the freedom granted to me & my loved ones because of our military. Without them, we would be in a lot of trouble. I have had friends & family, alike, that has served our great country with pride. One that is most important to me is my grandfather.
My grandfather was not only a wonderful soldier, he was an admirable example of what a man should be. He was an upright outstanding Christian, first & foremost. As far back as I can remember, I remember Papaw loving God & teaching us about Him. He always went to church. ALWAYS. If he were not in church, it was because he was physically unable to be there. He was one of the song leaders. To this day, each time I hear “O To Be Like Thee” or “Jesus Is All The World To Me” I think for a moment I can still hear him singing them. And my mind drifts back to a man, standing in the pulpit of a little country church, keeping tempo with his hand, belting out the words with feeling. He kept his “Testament”, (as he referred to his Bible) on top of the refrigerator. It was not there many times when we went to see him & my Mamaw. The reason why? He was reading it. He worked hard. He was in the mindset every day was a day of accomplishment, to leave something a little better than you found it. Thus, days he spent in the garden hoeing, plowing the family mule Kate, & gathering the bounty are fond memories. He let us play in the branch, that ran on his property. Summers filled with trying to catch minnows & crawdads out of the sandy water were something we lived for.
He was a family man, but not always at home. He served for several years in the Army, somewhere around 1940, until later in that decade. He missed his family terribly when he was shipped overseas in World War II. He would write my Mamaw letters of how he loved her & missed her & what was going on in the war & how he loved & missed her. Once back from the war, he took a job with the TVA. He worked at Brown’s Ferry, Wilson Dam & other locations. He worked on those huge electrical towers. He would climb up on them & repair them. He left home at 4am every morning. However he never departed home without a thermos full of fresh brewed coffee & homemade biscuits with some sort of bacon, ham or sausage nestled in the middle of it. No wonder our family was one of the 1st people in our county to have a brick home & a washing machine. He loved a Chevrolet car. He would trade ever so often & get another Chevrolet car.
He was always willing to help out a friend, to my grandma’s dismay. She did not like him being late for supper! When he was at church, he sang, prayed, waited on the Lord’s table & was a terrific Christian leader. When he was at home, he sang, prayed & was a terrific Christian leader. He loved his family to the end. Right before he passed from this life, he told my Mamaw, “I don’t want to leave y’all”. That was almost 30 years ago & I still feel the sting of loss from that day. That’s why I want to honor him today. He was outstanding in everything he did. Especially, serving his country.
God bless anyone who has ever served our country. And also, the ones who loved them.
I have enjoyed so much posting this about my grandfather today. I hope everyone has a safe & healthy Memorial Day. I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes………….