The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Memorial Day 2015

By Elaine Slater Reese (Spring Green, Wi.)

Memorial Day 2015 is almost here. Mention that and many will immediately vow that spring is finally upon us - no more frost! It's time to plant all those flowers. Others plan on opening their cabin in the woods. For many it is cook-outs and family fun. And as our society appears to deal with death differently throughout the years, fewer take the time or effort to visit the graves of loved ones.

And how many of us take time on this holiday to reflect on its true meaning? Why is there such a federal holiday? It was originally designated to honor both the Confederate and the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. Memorial Day now honors all those who have died serving the United States military.

For those who didn't have a loved one serve in the military, the day probably seems less important. But for those who have lost someone while they were in the service, every day often becomes their personal Memorial Day. For many, the grief is never completely gone - people just learn to live with it.

I think of my great grandfather, David Parker Worrell, who at the age of seventeen served in the Civil War. And in our small town of approximately six hundred, I can still see blonde little Johnny Phillips laughing and splashing in the wading pool in front of their stucco house. He went to Viet Nam and then there was the day he came home - in a wooden box.

How much of our freedom we take for granted. And anyone who doesn't think that our military is extremely important today should take his head out of the sand. Let's all make a special effort this Memorial Day to spend some time honoring those who gave that we might be free. I challenge you to walk through a cemetery and take time to read some of the inscriptions on tombstones. I promise you will be touched by what you read there. And all of us know a veteran. Just take the time to contact that person and say "I want to say THANK YOU for what you have done for America and for me. God bless you for that!"