Normally Memorial Day has always been a sad day when my family celebrates with great respect the lives of America’s War Veterans. My Dad was a veteran of service with the 122nd Mounted Field Artillery Battalion of the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Division, and I served with the 5th Air Force during the Korean War. While I have only viewed Arlington National Cemetery from the passing road or on approach or take off at Reagan Washington National Airport, I will always remember visiting the Punch Bowl National Cemetery in Honolulu. It was a highly emotionally experience that has stayed with me for more than twenty years.
As usual we flew our beautiful American flag to commemorate Memorial Day, but what made this one special was the fact that my son, Kenneth, paid us an overnight visit Saturday from his home in Dallas. Ken is my first born and only son and thus always will hold a special place in my heart. He has made his family most proud by his Emmy award winning work at KXAS-TV the local NBC affiliate in Dallas, as well as his embedded assignment with the Marines in the 2002 invasion of Iraq. In 1983, he covered the Marines Barracks bombing in Lebanon, as well as coverage over his career of thirteen hurricanes along the Gulf Coast to name a few highlights of his carrier.
Don’t misunderstand me for one minute in highlighting Ken. My only daughter, Karen is equally important to me and our family. I take particular pride in the manner in which she has handled her life. She and her husband cared for their ailing son at home for many years, until his passing in 2005.
So while Memorial Day is one of sadness as we honor all the fallen veterans of our many wars, it was wonderful to have our son home for just a few hours. I said a prayer Saturday evening when I put my head down on my pillow for the blessing that had befallen us to share part of this important weekend with Kenneth. I thought of all the families who did not have their sons or daughters home to share precious moments and remembrances.
God Bless America, and all those who have served her so honorably. They gave their precious lives so we can have our wondrous freedoms. In the chaotic, unsettled world in which we live today we must never forget those who gave us their last full measure.