Memorial Day weekend is over and although I enjoyed myself, I am ready for "normal" life. However, I couldn't help thinking as I was baking and picnicking about what Memorial Day means to me. I am not a veteran (Indeed, between my abysmal eyesight and my lack of stature, I doubt that they would have me) but I do thank those who served. I can not mention all of them but I do have a few that I wish to honor:
My dad, Ralph Pratt. He served in WWII. He was in the Japan Theater. He never said much about it. I guess that it proves that if you have really experienced war, that you really don't want to talk about it in "war stories."
In addition to my dad, his brothers Ed and Mort also served in WWII. I was blessed that my dad and both my uncles came back from the war. I know that many were not that lucky.
On my mom's side of the family, there were also men who served. My Uncle John served in WWII as well. He also made it home and I was blessed enough to get to know him as I was growing up.
My mom's dad, also served, but in the Spanish American War. He lived to be 86, but with some of the trials of the war haunting him in his later life. He died of natural causes long before I was born, but I still remember him in a few pictures that I have as well as stories my grandmother told me about him.
Not all the veterans that I know were in my family. I think of Ray Schultz a neighbor and father of my daughter's friends. He served in Vietnam. He has left a living legacy in his daughters who rightfully speak very proudly of him and his service. He died almost a year ago and was buried in the military cemetery in Ritman, OH.
There are also people currently serving that I know as well. I think of course of my friend Valerie who has just this week retired from the air force after 30 years of service. She was not in combat, but I know that her work (which I can barely understand) in the sciences has had lasting effects.
There is a couple in our church who are right now living through a separation because of his deployment. Mom and the girls are counting the days until he comes home. The girls are young - I believe 3 and 5. They have a cutout poster of him to bring to special events so dad can "see" them.
I know that there are many others and I just want to take the time to say thanks to all who served.
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