Decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom. We’ve done this in the United States since before the Civil War.
Decoration Day was officially established soon after the Civil War ended and observed on May 30 because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971 and moved to the last Monday in May.
A gray, cold day – It’s hard see the end of these graves, and more difficult to imagine the suffering. Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families.
Once again we pause to reflect and thank all those that serve or have served our country and helped keep us free. Please know that we appreciate your service and can never thank you enough.
The Flag of the United States of America, flying at the Fort Matanzas National Monument, near St. Augustine, Florida.
Many in our family have served in the military.
Lynn’s Grandfather, Harold Christensen was a Navy pilot in the second World War. As an electrical engineer I enjoyed hearing him talk about working on the top secret team that developed radar for use on aircraft. Lynn’s father, Doug was also in the Navy. He was stationed in Pensacola after WW II. Both Lynn’s Grandfather and father been gone for some time. We miss them.
My Mother’s brother, uncle Jack was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He never said much about his time in the service and passed away a year or two ago. We miss him too.
My Dad and his brother were both young men during World War II and both were in the Army. My Dad started high school just as WW II broke out and he enlisted as soon as he could. After basic training in Florida and some additional training as an intelligence recon scout, he shipped out to Europe. By that time, the war had ended and he was stationed in Furth, Germany – just outside Nuremberg as part of the occupation. He was there during the time of the Nuremberg trials. Dad had several stories he used to tell about his time in the Army. Most were quite fun, although I never heard him talk about the trials. I’m not sure if all his experience was happy, but those were the only ones he shared with us. He passed away quite a while ago, and of course we’ll always remember him.
I didn’t know much about my uncle’s service until we visited him just after Christmas last year and I asked about it. Msgr. Edward V. Rosack (we called him Fr. Ed) also joined the Army Signal Corps after he graduated from high school during WW II. He was older than my father and served in the Pacific Theater of Operations for about two years. His tour of duty took him to the Hawaiian Islands, Marshall Islands, (Einewetok, Kwajalein, the Palau Island (Angaur), Mariana Island (Saipan), Ryukyu Island (Okinawa), Korea (In chon) and Yokohama, Japan. As a member of the 3922nd Signal Service Company of the 3117th Signal Service Battalion, his outfit was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with one bronze star (Angaur, Palau Islands). Watching Ken Burns “Pacific” mini-series recently brought home what a great sacrifice and profound experience it must have been for him and everyone else in those battles. I can only imagine the hardships and horror that he and others endured. I wonder if that is at least partly what drove him to become a man of peace for the rest of his life. Sadly, Fr. Ed passed away in March of this year, not long after we visited him. We’ll always remember him too.