Though the technical beginning of summer isn’t until June 21st
, the undisputed, official kick off of the season is always Memorial Day. Rain or shine (in our case here in New York, it was mostly rain), it’s the beginning of summer Fridays, more cherished time with our kids and barbecues. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, with all the “white sales” at department stores and the rush of year-end school activities, that the holiday is intended to honor the impossibly brave men and women who died in service to our country. It's an important day in my family because my husband, John, and his father both served in the Marine Corps, my father, Jack was in the Air Force and my stepfather, Mike Summers in the Army. These pictures have been favorites of mine for years.
My stepfather was a Lt. Col. in the Army. Recently, we attended his reunion at West Point, which was not only beautiful, but a moving reminder of the dedication and honor of those who serve in the Armed Forces.
So it goes without saying that everyone in my family is so grateful for the efforts these men and women make to keep us safe and fight for our freedom. Lately, the place I tend to see the most soldiers in active service is at the airport. I see their desert camouflage and their heavy rucksacks and I always wonder if they’re on their way to reunite with their families, or they’ve just said a tearful goodbye-for-now to their loved ones, and I say a quick thank you for the sacrifices they’re making on our Nation’s behalf. One of the best ways to keep that spirit of Memorial Day going through the summer and beyond is to support the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org
) a program that offers complete rehabilitative assistance to those who have been seriously wounded in battle as they transition back to life at home, from medical care to mental health assistance to work opportunities. Check out the site for more information, and don’t hate me if it makes you cry! Sorry! Here's a cute, hot pink keychain (a good portion of the proceeds benefit WWP) to lighten the mood: http://www.survivalstraps.com/wounded-warrior-project-4.html
If any of you have family members or loved ones in the military you'd like to honor, we'd love to hear your comments. Happy summer!