Tomorrow is Memorial Day.The end of a three day weekend.Many people will be celebrating with picnics and bar-b-ques.It is the official beginning of summer.
But as an American, the day means so much more to me and to our country.
How many of you have family members and loved ones who have or are serving in the Armed Forces?I have and I would like to share a few precious memories with you all.
My Uncle Nicky was a hero.He served in World War II and his last duty was flying in the Korean War.He was a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Air Corps.He was handsome (think William Powell in ‘Picnic’).For those of you too young to remember this gorgeous movie star, Google him.
He would come home on the holidays, in his uniform, so handsome and charming – and when he smiled he had the most wonderful dimples.He was my first little girl crush.He gave me my first dog – a black terrier just like the dog in The Wizard of Oz, and I, being so creative named that little dog – Toto.
Not only was he a hero for his service to our country, but he was a true friend to his best military buddy.His friend died in a plane crash and my Uncle had told that friend he would take care of his wife – he did – he married her! They lived for many years in England.When he came home, he lived in a naval retirement home in Mississippi.I was fortunate enough to be able to see him there, before he passed away. To me he was still handsome, even though he was well into his 70’s.
Another war hero was William ‘Bill’ Estabrook.A lovely man I met at church in the mid-eighties.He was quiet, shy, intelligent and so very kind and generous.We were dear friends for a little over 14 years.Bill was a prisoner of war in World War II, he was in an airplane that had been shot down and he was captured.The stories of his more than 14-month imprisonment were astonishing.He was among the last prisoners to be rescued just as the war had ended.
This dear man was such a blessing to me.He was a saint and I miss him to this day.
About a year ago, I met a wonderful young woman, Annette Morris, who was a Master Sargent in the US Army.She was in harms way many, many times.She jumped out of airplanes, right into danger.She performed her duties and excelled.
Annette received many commendations, as did my uncle and dear friend.They were and are so soft spoken about their experiences.They saw things that know one should see.The common thread for all three of them is and was their pride in serving their country.
To give thanks to them and all who serve doesn’t seem enough.