My Memorial Day Tradition

I always, always start Memorial Day with a special tribute/prayer for my family members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I have a great uncle who died at the Battle of the Bulge who saved many of his men before he succumbed to his own wounds.

My father was a little boy when his uncle Eugene died but he made sure my sister and I knew all about the man and the deep respect the family held for him.

I have an uncle (my father’s brother) who died in the Vietnam war as well as many cousins who I watched leave for that God-forsaken jungle as young, fun loving men who came back broken and changed. I was just a kid but I’ll never forget my uncle Robert and when he died. It was awful and my grandmother never really got over his loss. Two of my cousins who served over there who I worshipped as a little girl, James and Johnny, both developed alcohol problems as a result of their tours of duty.

So, even though I don’t usually head to a parade, I do have my own little moments of silence as I remember these men as well as the others in my family including those who served this country before it was even a country. I’m a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and am super proud that my ancestor came to this land of opportunity in 1690. We’re here to stay! BE WARNED!

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day and remember all the people who have made this land truly the land of the free and the brave.

About Author

The author of these blog posts is a lawyer by day and fiction writer by night.
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10 Responses to My Memorial Day Tradition

  1. jeff7salter says:

    I think your way of observing this day is absolutely marvelous.
    And your family seems to have more than its share of veterans who have served sacrificially.
    I agree it’s important to remember those vets who survived … but who bore lasting scars. Which, in some cases, caused several depression, dependencies, or other adjustment difficulties. Most war movies portray only the action and adventure and excitement, along with death, of course. But very few accurately depict the plight of the wounded (whether physically, emotionally or mentally).

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    • Thanks Jeff. We definitely have had our share of military veterans who have sacrificed a lot. I was torn about adding my civil war family member who survived the war only to be murdered on his way home, but decided to save that story for another patriotic day here on the blog.

      I agree about the way wars are portrayed in movies. They seem to gloss over the angst of the survivors/wounded. I guess that’s not glamorous enough for the Hollywood set. It’s definitely real and gritty and sad.

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  2. Lavada Dee says:

    Our grandson has been deployed twice once Iraq and once to Afghanistan now there’s talk of a 3rd. We can see a change in him. Good way to observe the holiday Jillian.

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  3. Micki Gibson says:

    Wonderful post, Jillian. I am not aware of any family members who made that ultimate sacrifice, but I just may adopt your tradition of starting Memorial Day with a simple, honest prayer to honor those who did.

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  4. Tonette says:

    Thank you,Jillian….the person who was my brother never came home from Viet Nam, a difficult stranger did. My son has had a lot of trouble after Iraq and a short deployment in Afghanistan.
    May the day come when there is a better way found to settle differnces or suppress evil.
    I wish that those who tout war and encourage it would have to be in the thick of it themselves.
    I f one more person tells me that I ‘don’t support our troops” because I don’t support war, they may find themselves in a personal war…with me!
    (Can you believe that was pulled on me when my son was actually in Iraq???)
    God be with all military personal and those who love them.

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    • Wow, Tonette, I’m sorry to hear someone said that to you while your son was defending our country. That’s criminal. I’m also sorry about your brother. I agree that war needs to stop. Sadly, too many people and businesses make too much money at it and that makes me ill at the cost of human lives for someone to make a profit but it’s a sad reality.

      Thank your son for his service for our freedom.

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  5. Laurie Ryan says:

    I love to hear the pride in your voice (and rightfully so) when you talk about your family. My mother and I spend the Friday of Memorial weekend visiting the grave sites of those gone before us. That is our tradition.
    And Tonette? I’m with you.

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    • Thanks Laurie. I’m very proud of my family- even the rogues and scoundrels (and we have some of those)- I love your tradition with your mother. If I lived near the extended family, I’d do the same. I always try to visit the family cemetaries when I go back to North Alabama to visit.

      I agree with Tonette, too.

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