Always Remember

Hi Friends,

Today was a blue sky, warm, sunny day ~

the kind of day that beckoned us to squeeze in a long walk to a meaningful place.

We both needed to reflect and remember.

Our destination was the “Flags of Honor” display in our favorite park. This Memorial  Day weekend, volunteers from the True Patriots Care organization installed 300 American flags in remembrance of the 300 Illinois servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives since September 11, 2001 to protect our many freedoms.

We walked slowly up and down the rows of flags waving wildly in the breeze. Stopping at each flag, we read the name tag, listing each hero’s name, branch of service, age, and hometown. I was searching for one special name ~ a student who attended the school where I taught. I look for his name whenever we visit a Veterans’ Memorial. I wondered who else might have come this weekend to search for Christopher’s name. He is always remembered and honored, quietly, by his family, friends, and all who knew him.

As we stood beneath the branches of a beautiful gingko tree

gazing upon those 300 flags,

we thought of all of those Gold Star families

whose fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives

made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

We must always remember to honor them…

and keep their spirit alive.

Next we walked across the park to Veterans’ Square,

where our Memorial Day parade had ended just a few hours earlier.

Small, white crosses, with engraved, brass nameplates

honored each of the local heroes who died defending our freedom.

This Memorial Day would have been President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday.

We paused to honor all of these men and women

in a very simple, yet meaningful way.

I chose a soldier who served in Korea (like my dad)

and my husband chose a soldier who served in World War II (like his dad).

We each laid a long stemmed, red rose against their crosses

as a small token of our gratitude

for their brave service and great sacrifice

to preserve our way of life in America.

We must always remember…

In Remembrance,

♡ Dawn

     ☆ So grateful to the volunteers from True Patriots Care

who donate their time, throughout the Midwest,

to honor our troops, veterans, and first responders.




10 thoughts on “Always Remember

  1. Dear Dawn, what a meaningful post honoring our military. While I did not get to the parade, nor the ceremony at the park, which is always so memorable, I did visit the park on Friday and walked in the same steps as your did. I am smiling as I posted just a bit earlier today with photos that mirror yours. 🙂
    How thoughtful of you to place a rose next to some crosses. I wish I had thought of that, especially for the son of a friend of mine.
    Yes. We must always remember.

    • What a beautiful way to honor those who have sacrificed everything for us, Penny! I’m so happy that we both had the chance to visit this powerful memorial display. We weren’t able to see the parade either, but took advantage of a few quiet hours in the late afternoon sun to pay our respects to those who sacrificed everything for us. It is so humbling to learn about the ultimate sacrifice that your friend’s son made for our country. I will be stopping by to read about your experience as you walked among the waving flags! 🙂 Thank you for always being here, dear Penny! ♡

  2. What a meaningful and lovely way to spend Memorial Day. We spent our day with family. I watched the Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. on line because I wanted to see our local Central High School band lead the parade! And then I watched the entire 2 hour parade! Who doesn’t love a parade! Later after everyone had gone home I watched Taking Chance. A true story about the officer who accompanied the body of Chance Phelps killed in Iraq, to his final resting place. He was 19 years old. It’s one of those little movies you never hear about until someone mentions it and was very much worth the time. Now I will always think about Pvt. Chance Phelps on Memorial Day and thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week, Dawn.

    • Oh my, Chris! How proud your whole town must have felt as your local high school band lead the Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C. What an experience those students will remember forever! Thank you so much for telling us all about the movie Taking Chance. It sounds like a powerful film that provides an emotional glimpse into the terrible effects of war. We will make note to watch it, too. Thanks for stopping to visit and sharing with all of us, Chris! It’s so hard to believe that May is coming to an end. Wishing you happy hours in the garden! ♡

  3. Thank you Dawn for your beautiful remembrance of our fallen men and women. It’s a somber day, but a very important one. I have so many mixed emotions about our dear soldiers. I yearn for peace. Let it begin with me…♥

    • Oh, yes, Martha Ellen! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone believed “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” ♬ ♬

      While volunteering, I have seen first hand the big ways and small ways our military families sacrifice for all of us. When one family member is deployed, the entire family is truly serving our country. It’s most humbling. We must always remember… and work toward peace forevermore. Thank you for always being here, dear Martha Ellen! ♡

  4. Loved your photos, as always. I put flags out front and back. Took Mom to her Unitarian Church where she was interviewed about her days working in London as a 19 year old during The Blitz. I even heard details for the first time. Here’s hoping for continued diplomacy and peace.

    • Oh, Anne! Hearing your mom’s memories as a young girl during those terrible times must have been fascinating… and so very difficult. I am grateful that she is able to share her stories. Yes, diplomacy and peace are much needed in our world. A special hug for your mom! ♡

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