By: RON BEASLEY
While it’s true that Memorial Day was originally intended to be a day to remember those who died in combat in my lifetime (68 years) it has morphed into a day to remember and memorialize all loved ones who have died. Some have a problem with that – I don’t. As I was growing up I remember going to several cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of deceased parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles most of whom had never even served in the military. It was a time of remembrance and healing.
My late father did not die in combat but he was a war hero. He spent over 3 years in India/Burma during WWII repairing airplanes, once behind enemy lines for which he received a bronze star. He is the 2nd from the left. As I noted below my grandfather while too old to serve in the military during World War II did serve in his own way.
Today I will also remember my mother. She too was a veteran of sorts. Six months after she married my father he was drafted and shipped off to India a few months later. She didn’t see him again for over 3 years. She first heard that he had been awarded the Bronze Star when she read it in the local Newspaper.
And what about my cousin who served heroically in S.E. Asia during the Vietnam war? He died in a horrific automobile accident only 2 weeks after being discharged from the military. If you go to a Veteran’s cemetery today you will find an American flag on all of the graves, not just those who died in combat.
Memorial day has become a day of remembrance and healing – and healing is always a good thing in my book.