Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day May 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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MEMORIAL DAY MEANS, for many, a time of transitioning into summer activities. Picnics. Opening of the lake cabin. Thoughts of family vacations. A trek around the lake or dropping a fishing line into the water.

But for me, Memorial Day has always been about poppies and parades, ceremonies and cemeteries, American flags and American soldiers, my thoughts focused on those who’ve served our country. Like my Dad. Like his buddy, Ray, who died on a Korean battlefield the day before he was slated to return to his wife and infant daughter in Nebraska.

The Color Guard leads the 2013 Memorial Day parade in Faribault, Minnesota.

The Color Guard leads the 2013 Memorial Day parade in Faribault, Minnesota.

Today my thoughts are on my brother-in-law, Neil, currently deployed to Afghanistan. He’s serving in a medical facility, a somewhat safe place, if any place can truly be safe in a war zone.

Boy Scouts march down Faribault's Central Avenue, giving away small American flags, during Monday's Memorial Day parade.

Boy Scouts march down Faribault’s Central Avenue, giving away small American flags, during the 2011 Memorial Day parade.

This Memorial Day weekend, please take time to attend a parade or a ceremony.

About 30 people gather at the Cannon City Cemetery for an afternoon Memorial Day observance.

About 30 people gather at the Cannon City Cemetery for an afternoon Memorial Day observance in 2011.

Visit a cemetery. Note the veterans’ graves. Pay homage. Remember the sacrifices.

All eyes are on the flag.

A flag flies high at Cannon City Cemetery. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

Then, when you’re firing up the grill, sipping a cold one, enjoying a wonderful day in a country where you are free, thank God, and those soldiers, for freedom.

BONUS:

FOR TIPS ON TEACHING your kids about Memorial Day, click here.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling