The Thanks of a Grateful Nation

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General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters.

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and com­rades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

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Those They Leave Behind

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It is the one and only photo that makes me cry each time I see it. What brings the tears to my eyes is not just the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her. In an earlier photo in the series, we see him building her a little nest of blankets on the air mattress. Sweet Lord, I cry just typing the words, the matter-of-fact tenderness is so overwhelming. So soldierly. But in this photo — the one that lives on and on online — he merely stands next to the coffin, watching over her.

It is impossible to be unmoved by the juxtaposition of the eternal stone-faced warrior and the disheveled modern military wife-turned-widow, him rigid in his dress uniform, her on the floor in her blanket nest, wearing glasses and a baggy T-shirt, him nearly concealed by shadow while the pale blue light from the computer screen illuminates her like God’s own grace.

THIS – the story behind the picture – is what Memorial Day is all about; honoring those who have given their lives in the service of their country.  We must always be mindful of the fact that their sacrifices have allowed so many of us to sleep peacefully under the warm blanket of security for so many generations.

I believe that the civilian-military gap isn’t always born of indifference, but rather, at times, a sense of helplessness on the civilian side. What can I do? If you do nothing else, you can remember those who have given their lives for their country. Our country.

Remembrance, which may seem a modest contribution in the moment, is a sacred act with long-term payoff — a singularly human gift that keeps on giving, year after war-fatigued year. I don’t need to remind you that America’s sons and daughters are still dying in combat. I don’t want to browbeat you into feeling guilty for not doing more.

Instead, I want to tell you that as the wife of a veteran, it is tremendously meaningful to know that on this Memorial Day, civilians will be bearing witness and remembering in their own way — that those who are gone are not forgotten. I also want to say that as you remember them, we remember you.

Thank you.

May we never forget them.
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(“Go Rest High on that Mountain” by Vince Gill is available in CD and MP3 formats)
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Posted in Annual Posts, Holidays, I Love America, Inspirational, Think about it | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sunday Funnies – “One Grain More”

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….We’ll discover foods that even vegans have forsworn…..

In honor of National Celiac Awareness Month, I HAD to share this hilarious video (please note – the Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs shown in this video are NOT gluten-free; they contain barley malt extract).

As anyone with food allergies knows, navigating restaurants and grocery stores can be a real challenge – especially when you are first starting out. When Rebecca was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008, we got a crash course in gluten-free living and “Alternative Foods” – it’s been a real education!

I have to give credit to all of our friends and family – they’ve been very patient with us on this journey, and they are always sending us stuff that they think might be of interest to us. One of my Cyberfriends*** sent me this a while back – I had to pick myself off the floor when I saw it:
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Happy Mother’s Day!

I got brave a couple of years ago, and made a photo book online for my Mom; thought I’d post it again this year, as things have been kinda crazy around here the last couple of weeks….

(Click on the picture to take you to the Shutterfly site, where you can view it for yourself.
Once there, click on “View Photo Book”, then “View Full Screen” – hope you enjoy it!
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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
I love you very much ♥♥♥
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A Classical Birthday “Two-fer”

Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

What are the chances?

On this date in history, not one, but TWO classical composers were bornJohannes Brahms (1833) and Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (1840).

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tequila Cat
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Today is Cinco de Mayo – a day when a lot of people drink a lot of beer and/or tequila.

So what better YouTube clip to show than Jim Breuer’s classic “Party in Your Stomach”? If you haven’t seen it before, be prepared to laugh:
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Have a great day!
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Remembering Charlie

Shenandoah

The classic film “Shenandoah” inspired my father-in-law’s “Grandpa” name

Way back in 1979, I had the honor of meeting a man who came to mean a lot to me over the next 34 years.  I had just started seeing a fella who very quickly asked me to spend the rest of his life with him (I said “Yes” before he could change his mind); not long after that, he took me home to introduce me to his parents.

And that’s when I met Charles Henry Koch.

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Posted in Annual Posts, Contemporary, Family, Feelin' Sorry for Myself, Foodie Friday, Growing Old Sucks, Just Because, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment