My daughter’s recent class project was to interview a Veteran, and ask him, or her, a bunch of questions about their service, where they were stationed, how long they were there, and so on.  There are no living Veterans in our family, so we called on the father of a good friend of mine.  His name is Buddy, and he served in Korea.  I’ve known Buddy for about ten years, and I knew he’d be able to discuss his military service with ease — some Veterans can’t talk their war experiences — and he’s such a good promoter of Veteran affairs.   As Caroline asked him question after question, I listened in on the speaker phone, just to take my own notes should she miss something. 

His story didn’t have any dramatic elements, he was an ambulance driver, and was stationed more on this continent than over where the fighting was.  His answers were plain and simple, and matter of fact.  Only when the question turned to how Veterans should be remembered, did I hear a change in his voice.  He answered, “For one thing, on Memorial Day, we shouldn’t mow the lawn.  We should go watch the local Memorial Day parade.”   And I thought how right he was.  With all the disagreements in our country, with the various political party followers who feel their way of government is best, and with the collection of cultures that exist in America today, there is ONE unifying belief:  we are all here, living in a free county, kept free by the soldiers, past and present, who risked their lives for that freedom.   We should never lose sight of that.   I know I have.   

I was planning on staining my back deck on Memorial Day weekend, but will first contact the local American Legion in my town to see what events are happening.  And, if I don’t get to stain the deck that weekend, that’s okay.     

I’m glad my daughter had this assignment.