Monday, May 21, 2012

Memorial Day is for Every Soldier by Barbara Edwards

The Trail at Minute Man National Park
Memorial Day is for every soldier in every conflict. It’s about more than parades, red poppies and barbeques.  Memorial Day honors sacrifice. So visiting the Minute Man National Park in Lexington-Concord Massachusetts has special meaning.

 The shot heard around the world happened in a tiny village where a handful of men gave to the 350 million Americans alive today their freedom. 

As I followed their path, my heart was in my throat. We don’t appreciate the struggle they endured. They lost their farms and businesses, their men died. Their families went hungry while they fought.

Rebuilt bridge 
The area is charming with a few period houses still open. The park has two visitors’ centers and interpretive guides dressed in period attire. The path followed by those resolute men goes for miles. I’m going back with my younger grandchildren. I want them to know where they got their freedom.

Would you be willing to sacrifice so much? I hope I would.

I came from a family that fought. My Father’s and Mother’s brothers (seven in total) all went overseas in World War Two. They marched through France and Italy, North Africa, Japan and the Pacific Islands. They serve on ships.  My Father built ships at the Brooklyn Navy Yards. My Aunt Edna was a riveter putting airplane wings together.

Interpretive guide 
My daughter and her husband served in the United States Army. Two of my sons and a daughter-in-law served in the United States Navy. My grandson and granddaughter are in the Navy with number three in the early enlistment program for next September.

I am the grandchild of emigrants. My family appreciates the freedoms here. They escaped the religious suppression, forced military service and virtual slavery of a serf type life. 

I love this country.

Minute Man Statue at the Park, with my husband Bill
My husband’s family has been here since the 1600s. One of his ancestors joined the minutemen. A company of armed men journeyed overland from New Haven, Connecticut to Lexington in two days, an incredible feat. My eyes fill with tears as I picture their hardships. It was all for my family and me. And yours

Take the time to visit The Minute Man National Park. Walk where those patriots marched and died. Listen to the lectures and learn why you enjoy the freedom you do.

Salute the flag and stand during the National Anthem. 

Barbara Edwards at monument
Put flowers on the grave of a soldier on Memorial Day. 

Say “Thank You” to our military.

And register to vote. 

Use the greatest privilege they sacrificed for: Vote for a free and responsible government. 

Visit my website:


Laura Breck said...

I'm so impressed that you know so much about your family's history, Barbara. And it's amazing how many of them have served our country. Beautiful pictures and a moving story. Thanks for sharing!

Jannine Gallant said...

I've been there, Barbara. It's a terrific spot to soak in our history. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Edwards said...

I can't help it. I get teary eyed when I hear 'God Bless America' and the National anthem.
Thanks for the comments.

Jerri Hines said...

Beautiful blog. We all should be so proud! It is a great country and we should remember it.

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks Jerri.

LK Hunsaker said...

Wow that's a lot of service! Thank you to your family! And I agree; we need to honor them by protecting what they fought for. Nice blog, Barbara.

LK Hunsaker said...

Oh, and I've been to the park, as well. We lived nearby for a while. I never walked the whole trail but I would love to go back sometime.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Barbara, we have to thank your family for sending so many members to defend our country.

For three years I lived in Concord, MA. at less than five minutes from the Minuteman monument and ten minutes from Walden Pond where the poet Thoreau used to sit and compose. We often took our visitors to the Minuteman park. At Memorial Day, Patriot Day and Fourth of July there used to be a parade in costume and demonstration. This was back in the eighties. I don't know if they still do it.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Barbara, wonderful post.Every serviceman and woman deserve the accolades they receive. And all of us should remember their sacrifice.



Maggie Toussaint said...

Barbara, Thank you and your family for your dedication and service to our country. We have a tradition of service in our family as well. My dad served in the Coast Guard during WWII, guarding our coast. My father-in-law served in the South Pacific during WWII. My husband and daughter were in the Army. We've also held support jobs as DOD civilians and contractors. America is a precious place well worth protecting. Happy Memorial Day to your family. Maggie

marja said...

My thanks, too, Barbara. I had a chance to see the Vietnam Memorial a few years ago and and I still tear up when I think about it. And let me echo your comments about voting. I have a grandson in the Marines, and I'm so proud of him.