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.


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

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Here in Mason City this weekend is all about the Band Festival—not so much about Memorial Day. It is part of the tradition here and they are quite proud of it. I am not sure if they even have a Memorial Day observance although I am sure they must have. Nice post, Audrey, and especially like the bonus link. Great info there.

  2. Jackie Says:

    Feeling blessed to live in a free country and thankful for the men and women who have (for generations) ensured our freedom. Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  3. I was actually thinking I needed to visit my dad’s grave this weekend – in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. He was in the Navy, World War II. Good reminder, Audrey.

  4. Lucy and I are going to attend several memorials at local cemeteries as she’s a Girl Scout. I’m looking forward to it and will definitely bring my camera and possibly even blog about it! Wouldn’t that be something?!

  5. Thread crazy Says:

    Good post Audrey – yes I too remember the parades and all but also what Memorial Day really means. Both my Dad and Uncle served in WWII.. My Dad was in the army and one of those who invaded France. My Uncle was a paratrooper who was captured behind enemy lines. He was in prison camp for over a year before they got him back. When he enlisted he was a young dark haired guy; when he came home he hair had turned stone white. Yes, we should all be thankful for those that served and are serving and the sacrifices they have made.

  6. Beautiful Captures 🙂 Thanks for those that serve our country!

  7. hotlyspiced Says:

    So true, Audrey. We’ve just celebrated ANZAC Day here at the end of April. It’s so important on these special days to take time to reflect on not only the true meaning but also on those who’ve served xx

  8. Dan Traun Says:

    It is so very important to recognize and never forget those that have served and died for what we all live and breathe every day – freedom.

  9. dixonsblog Says:

    Audrey . . . You write one of the best blogs, and certainly THE best on the rural way of life. The recent picture story about Memorial Day in Fairbault is a much needed reminder that America’s benefits have been costly indeed. Thank you.

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