We Remember…and Give Thanks


Kevin and I both have had relatives that have served in the military. One of my uncles served in the Army in World War II. Another earned an Army silver star in Korea. My dad enlisted in peace time, and was stationed in Germany. Kevin served in the Air Force and Air National Guard, and provided communications support during the war in Bosnia in the mid-90s.

This past Memorial weekend, we decided to take a day off from farm chores to go on a bike trip. We usually go south, but this time decided to head north. With no real destination in mind, I suggested that because it was Memorial weekend, we should stop in the national cemetery in Leavenworth.

It was a perfect day for a bike ride—a little chilly in the morning, but not so cold that we needed to bundle up. We like to take back roads and take our time.

Cemeteries are peaceful places even on Memorial weekend when there are many visitors. It was a perfect day for a visit. The chimes of a carillon marked the passing time, a poignant addition to the serenity of the scene. The sky overhead was a pure, clear blue. The grass underfoot was lush and green, contrasting with the white head stones marching row upon row up the hills and down the valleys.

Relative at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery

Each grave is decorated with a small, fluttering flag on Memorial weekend. Sometimes, additional flowers adorn a grave site, speaking clearer than words that the person lying beneath the soil is loved and missed.

My heart aches for the families that suffered the losses of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers. I am grateful that so many people were and continue to be willing to serve and sacrifice that we may live as free people.

Thanks to all of you who serve—today and everyday!