Monday is Memorial Day and for many, sadly, it will be but another holiday, a day in which to relax from whatever toil their particular job requires.
Yet for others — and these are the very few — it will be a day of remembering not only those loved ones who gave so much of themselves, including hopes, prayers and their love, that we too might become responsible parents and worthy citizens supporting that which is right good, but also those who proudly wore the uniform and are no longer with us, those who went forth following the flag, Old Glory, wherever it took them and laid their lives on the line in defense of their beloved country.
Thus will the graves of many a worthy and beloved person of the past be duly recognized by some small token of remembrance such as a flag, a flower, or perhaps but a prayer of thanks unto God for their presence in our lives. And who knows, perhaps the spirit of that individual looks down from above with favor on those who remember and thus are they who took the effort duly blessed for deep within, as they leave each particular gravesite, there is a long lasting and comforting feeling of satisfaction, that of having done something really worthwhile.
Early Monday morning when the glorious rays of the rising sun greet the newborn day, many a veteran will stand out front of the American Legion Post 30 on Gillionville Road and will salute as the famous old flag with the red, white and blue stars and stripes that represent the greatest nation and its people therein is slowly raised by two old veterans high above the crowd. There it will be ever so gallantly waving all the live-long day in memory of all those aformentioned. Then they will retire inside the post, say a prayer unto the God that has blessed them all their lives and their nation.
They will enjoy a certain camaraderie that only exists between those that were soldiers as they enjoy the delicious breakfast foods prepared by those of a like kind. Afterwards, some few will go and place wreaths at special monuments commemorating those who’ve passed on in the numerous wars of our past.
To all of you who read this, don’t let the day go by without remembering those who loved you and are no longer here and the God who has blessed every American with freedom and the right to seek happiness in a magnificent land of unparalleled beauty.
Valkey Midkiff Tiernan of Albany is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, served in the Air Force 20 years and retired from Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany in 1997.