I am thankful for the very fun memories I have of Memorial Day thanks to growing up in Newtown, PA. Our town feels very patriotic to me as I reflect on it from an adult perspective. Perhaps it had to do with the history of Newtown (George Washington spent the night at the Court Inn in our town before going to fight the Battle of Trenton and there is more history than just that of course). Perhaps it is because so much of the beginnings of our country happened in the Philadelphia region. Whatever the case, Newtown is a flag flying, history-honoring, beautiful, tree-lined main street kind of town. Every year, there was/still is a Memorial Day Parade. I marched in that parade as part of the marching band for 3 years (it was always very hot!). The parade route goes through the town and stops at the different cemeteries where veterans have been laid to rest. I also remember decorating my bike and riding in the parade when I was younger. We usually would watch the parade from the church steps since the parade route stopped right out front of the Court House next to the old church building. My dad has prayed at the ceremony held there on the parade route. So many fond memories! When I was even younger, I remember great Memorial Day picnics in the afternoon with fun church friends at our home. We would usually end up over at the high school field to launch model rockets (I think we're going to do that later today with my dad!). In case you can't tell, I still miss Newtown :) ... especially on days that cause me to recall so many great 'growing up' memories.
I know the point of Memorial Day is not necessarily for me to have great memories of parades, time spent with friends, etc. but to acknowledge the men and women in the past and present who serve and sacrifice in our U.S. Military. I have several friends and family who I say a big "THANK YOU!" to this year ... my Grandpa's, my cousin Nathan, Bryant, Andy, Garrett, their wives and many others!
(If anyone wants to watch a show or two that will inspire you to more greatly appreciate our U.S. Military and their families ... I highly recommend Army Wives and The Unit!)