I live in Columbus, MS, and according to the stories told here, Memorial Day started here during The War Between the States. A group of five women met and decided to decorate the graves of the fallen buried at Friendship Cemetery, both those of the South and of the North. There feelings were that all that had fallen were someone's child, someone's husband or someone's father and deserved to be remembered. Those that have sacrificed by serving this great country, and especially those that paid the ultimate price with their lives, certainly deserve to be honored not only on Memorial Day, but each and every day.
My Dad was a World War II veteran, and in our house we were raised knowing the price that service to your country can cost. We also got to see the lifetime friendshindps that were made when men and women are put under dire circumstances. Where folks today take vacations and go to the beach, the mountains, or DisneyWorld, our family went to my Dad's army Reunions. We KNEW his army buddies and their families.WE saw first hand how you counted on your buddies to have your back.
As a result of a war injury, my Dad always walked with a limp.It didn't stop him from holding down a job and raising 5 children. 17 days prior to my graduation from college, and after spending 5 months in the Veterans Administration hospital, with doctors doing what they could to fix his knee and save his leg, he told them to cut it off. It was an above the knee amputation, and he was 55 years old. He was at my college graduation on crutches with one good leg. It never slowed him down, and he never used it as an excuse to quit working.. I learned first hand that Freedom isn't Free, and certainly we should never take it for granted. I also learned what HEROES really are.
I'm too old to serve in the military, but I'm not too old to let those that serve to keep this country free know how important that they are. I am proud to make cards for Operation Write Home, an organization that has sent over 2 million blank greeting cards to our troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. We also make what are called Any Hero cards, and write notes to these service people thanking them for a job well done.
For the past week, I have been working on making a huge stash of Any Hero cards. I plan on setting up a table at some high traffic area, and asking my local citizens to take a moment to write a personal thank you in one of the cards I'm making. For now here are 6 of the cards from the sets I've created.
Remember that Memorial Day isn't the only day we need to remember both our fallen, but also those that served to make sure that we live in a free country. And if you get the chance to thank a service person, do so.