These warm spring days sure feel good. I bet you’d rather be playing outside than sitting in a school room.
When your parent’s were young, on the first really warm day of spring, I would check them out of school and we’d go have fun. Wherever we went, it was outside! By the time they were in sixth grade the school staff expected me to show up and free my children to skip school, for one day.
Actually, I had my children skip school on the first warm day of spring each year for two reasons. One, I just loved being with them and wanted to make memories with them. The second reason that I checked them out of school was…I could.
Grandparents and parents are not perfect. How’s that for a shocker! There are many times that they are going to make decisions regarding you kids that they may wish they could change. However, your parents are the people that know you best, and therefore know what is best for you. I strongly believe that loving parents are the only ones that have the sole responsibility and authority to make decisions about their children. Not the government, school administrators, teachers or social idea pushers.
Now, I could have just lied to the school and called my children in sick on those special spring skip-school days. That would have been the easy and convenient thing to do. However, that would have set a very poor example, don’t you think? I had tried to teach my kids that lying is not acceptable, even when telling the truth may be uncomfortable or cause conflict. I could do no less than follow my own advice. Morals and ethics always count, especially when no one is looking.
So, your parents got on the bus and went to school never quite sure which day would be the day. As soon as they were on the bus, I would change, get into the car and race to school at under 30 mph…as that is the speed limit here in town. After they had been seated in their classroom, I would show up and check them out at the school’s office, “to spend a day with mom.”
Our school officials were great and never, ever gave me any trouble about on my practice of spending special and quality time with my children. They were smart people and knew that no matter how many of them there may have been, I would still have had them outnumbered.
I bet you will be on summer vacation from school soon, because Memorial Day is just two weeks away. That weekend is always advertised as the official beginning of a Minnesota summer. Which is just nuts, because it seems like that weekend is almost always cold and rainy. Besides Memorial Day is not even a holiday or a celebration, it is an observance….about death.
Memorial Day is about remembering the service and sacrifice of all of the military men and women who have died protecting and defending our nation.
I know you know about the Korean War and that your Great-Great-Uncle Wendell who died fighting in it. But, you had two relatives that were killed in that war.
Yes, the same Korea that is now in the news everyday. I do pray that after all these years that country can be peacefully return into fellowship with their neighbors and all of the nations in the world….but, that is another story.
The boys in our family that died were cousins. They were killed about a month a part. One, Eugene Kronbeck, had an artillery shell land on him. Your great-grandpa has told me many times that Eugene never knew what hit him. One second he was here, and BANG…..he was in heaven. Great-grandpa would say that just pieces must have been left of his cousin, because the casket was so light. I think he thought the casket was actually empty.
Eugene Kronbeck photo taken the morning he left for Korea Sept 20, 1951. He was killed in action Nov 25, 1951.
The other young man that did not come home was of course Wendell. I have told you about him before. I know, you know that he killed instantly by machine gun fire. Click here to read the letter describing the circumstance of his death as told by another soldier who witnessed his demise.
Wendell L. Larson. KIA, Korea, Age 23.
Many people get Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day confused or think that they are the same. They are not. Veteran’s Day is for the living who are serving or have served in uniform. Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who died in war and their families.
Memorial Day is an important day. It was first officially proclaimed by Civil War General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868 and called “Decoration Day.” That first year the observance was scheduled to take place on May 30 and folks were asked to use the day to decorate the graves of the war dead. I have often wondered if that time was chosen, because the spring flowers would be in bloom.
On that very first “Decoration Day” General James Garfield, who would go on to be president and the second president to be assassinated in office, addressed a crowd of over 5,000 participants who decorated the over 20,000 graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
Now, if those folks after fighting and killing each other for four long years during the Civil War could work together just three years after the war ended, there is no excuse for all of the hateful nonsense that is going on in our country today. Honestly, some people’s kids!
It took over 100 years for, “Decoration Day” to morph into Memorial Day. In 1971 a federal law made Memorial Day a national observance to be held on the last Monday of May.
It is little wonder that people no longer know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. During most of the wars of the past almost everyone knew someone directly affected…either the dead soldier or his family and friends. For example, during World War II more than one out of every ten people were in the military. Now less than one percent serve. That is less than one out of every hundred people. Instead, of three kids in your class going in the military, now there would be three kids in your whole school.
We are a nation of over 320 million people, yet only 1.3 million actively serve in the military. Another 1 million are in the military reserves. The low number of people serving insulates the general public from the human costs of war. That is why your grandma thinks that if a family does not have a member serving in the military when our nation is at war….they should be paying a hefty war tax. Not only would this unify the country behind the war effort, but would raise awareness of the human loss and cost of war. It would also pay for war.
Ours is not the only family to have lost young men or women to war. The total number of American’s who have lost their lives fighting for our nation in uniform is over 1.1 million.
During the Civil War, from 1861-1865, over 625,000 military deaths were recorded.
That’s more Americans than died in both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined. The military death toll amounted to two percent of the total population at the time. Today that would be equal to six million Americans dying in a war.
In World War II over 407,300 military deaths occurred which was .3 percent of the total population. That would equal about 1,012,976 soldier deaths today.
So you see, there are lots and lots of families who will be honoring their war dead over Memorial Day….including your own.
Just what kind of people put their lives on the line for others? Well, they are the ones who are self-reliant, selfless, and self-sacrificing. They think of others welfare before their own. They are not selfish, self-absorbed or self-serving. They serve, because they love.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
So what type of people serve in the military…. the best!
When you kids are out and about on Memorial Day weekend, should you pass by a cemetery and see lots of small American flags fluttering in the wind, you will know that there are small flags on your family’s fallen soldier boys graves, and they, like all of the other men and women buried beneath those flags are our nation’s true heroes.
Have a great week!
Sending Lots of Hugs and Kiss!