WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --

    Memorial Day has now come and gone, and it is kind of an official opening of the summer season, and this year it actually felt like it.

    At any rate, I have attended at least one ceremony and most of the time a couple or more, in the area for the past forty years or so. As a kid growing up I was raised, most of my earlier formative years, in rather large cities, so I never really attended any Memorial Day services back then. Today I have much stronger feelings about my fellow veterans and what they did for their country.

    I am a Viet Nam era veteran, and I sometimes regret that I never was able to serve abroad, even though I certainly would have if the situation had arisen.

    While attending the Westbrook program, as the honor roll of departed comrades was read, I got to thinking how many of those I had known or knew who they were. Of course I didnít know too many of the World War I Vets, although I did know a few and some I recognized the names. In all there are nearly 300 names on that list. It made me think just how lucky we are as Americans for all of those veterans that served in the military during war times and peace times. All of them gave no less than their time during their early adulthood. Some made careers and fought in many battles abroad, some made the supreme sacrifice giving up their lives for the freedom we all now enjoy.

    Unfortunately time does dim the memories of all of us, and it brings to mind when Best Friend and I were considering putting a brass vase in the marker of my fatherís grave. Then when we looked at the cemetery and noticed on the west end there were very few decorations on those graves. Most of those graves go back to the early part of the last century, and the majority of those families no longer are alive and their descendants have mostly moved to other distant places and have very little connection with the area anymore. So we decided there is no sense getting the vase when you know, more than likely, it eventually never will be used.

    The one thing we can thank our living veterans for is that every one of those, otherwise undecorated, graves each receive a flag to show these were some of our earliest veterans. God Bless America!


Have a great week and do good!