Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Thoughts - Revisited....


I originally shared the post below in 2010.  It still remains the most powerful reminder of the meaning of Memorial Day for me.....

I've been thinking about Memorial Day and its meaning, and it brought to mind a trip to Georgia a few years ago. I'd been in Atlanta for a week attending the gift market and was ready to get home.

But, severe thunderstorms in the area had caused many flight cancellations and delays. When I checked in I was disappointed to discover that my flight had been cancelled and I'd been switched to another flight not scheduled to depart until many hours later.
Frustrated, I made the long walk to a different gate that was a good 15 gates from where my original flight was to board. When I arrived at the gate, I became exhausted at the mere sight of all the people jammed in like sheep. All the seats were full, many people were sitting on the floor, leaning against the walls, sitting on railings, crying babies, you get the picture.

But, amidst the entire chaos one thing jumped out......there were dozens and dozens of Servicemen dressed in their fatigues. I later discovered that they were returning from Iraq and headed to Ft. Hood. My heart was so full to see so many passengers go out of their way to visit with the Servicemen and extend gratitude for their dedication to our country.

I pulled up my pilot case to use it as a make-shift seat and a short while later began chatting with one of the Servicemen about his family. As we were talking, a little boy that couldn't have been any older than 5 or 6, approached a Servicemen that was sitting across from us. 

The little boy asked, "So, do you have to do a lot of push-ups?"
He said, "Well, we sure do".
The little boy replied, "I know how to do push-ups".
The Serviceman said with a grin, "Well, let’s see ‘em."


This made the little boy very happy and he quickly dropped to the floor to show off his little boy push-ups. Then he rolled on one side, looked up and said, "Now you do some."

The Serviceman looked over at his buddies and smiled and he dropped down face-to-face with the little boy and counted off 10 push-ups. As he counted off the number 10, he smiled back at the little boy and said, "Your turn again."
The two of them went back and forth for a few "push-up rounds" while the rest of us looked on. My words may not convey it, but it was a sweet moment that I will always remember. As I looked around, I made misty eye contact and exchanged smiles with several other passengers that were equally as touched.

My delayed flight had become the best part of my trip.

Later, when we boarded the plane I was blessed to sit next to one of the many Servicemen aboard the flight. He was returning home from a second tour of duty in Iraq for a 14 day leave, and was eager to tell me about his wife and children that he hadn't seen for over a year.

As I listened to him, I thought about how much I missed my husband after only a week and it deepened my sense of the sacrifices these men and women make for all of us. I felt guilty about the things in my life that I take for granted.
Shortly after the plane took off, the pilot made an announcement to recognize the Military men and women on board and to thank them for their commitment. He asked God to bless them and everyone applauded them.......it was very sweet. Hats off to that American Airline's pilot for taking time to extend that sweet gesture.

Our family is honored to have many previous and several present Servicemen and women. May each of us spend some time remembering the sacrifices that our Military personnel make for us every single day, may we also remember the sacrifices of their families, and give honor to those that have given their lives for our country. May God bless them all and keep them safe.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday weekend my friends.

20 comments:

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What a sweet story. I love near Atlanta and have seen the many servicemen in the airport and a line of them walked through and everyone was clapping for them. Made me tear up. Thanks for repeating this post.

Vintage Images said...

What a beautiful story, Laurie! Thank you for sharing this!

Much love,
Dorothy

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

A wonderful reminder to us all! Thanks for the lovely post.

Patsy said...

God Bless Them All!
Thank you for sharing.

Hibiscus House said...

Same to you Laurie.

Michelle said...

What a sweet story and thank you for sharing. My husband was in the Navy and just recently retired after serving for 28 years. It gave me goose bumps to hear how the serviceman you were seated beside share his family with you. I remember those days all to well waiting for the love of my life to return home safe to his family.

Heart Vintage Design said...

Thank you for sharing. I always run into servicemen and women in Altanta & always try to thank a few for their service.

amy said...

I love this story. God bless and protect all who serve this country and their families.

peace,
amy

Teresa said...

Your story is like the ones you read about and wonder if it is real or not. Because you were there it makes it more special. If I see a military person in public I never say anything to them because I feel they could say .. oh I'm not in active duty or something on that line and I would feel foolish. I will try to not think that the next time I see a service man. God Bless them all.

martinealison said...

Une très belle publication...
gros bisous

Sally@Enlightenment for the Sleepy said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes! One thing my husband and I noticed when moving from the UK to the USA was how patriotic Americans are. It is so wonderful to see how appreciated your servicemen and women are here. Sadly in Britain the Military are not treated with any appreciation like this and would be overlooked and ignored. That's what makes America so great, and makes us so thankful we can live here, despite our struggles, thanks for sharing such a lovely memory, Sally xx

A Thrifted Market said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I love our military and and have such a heart for them and their families! God bless them all and thanks for the beautiful story!

kathryn cain said...

Thank you a very well written post.I live 20 min.from Ft Hood,and a son who served in the Marine Corp with 3 tours between Afg.and Irag...I grew up with a Uncle who served WW1 and WW2 ...to each and all.Thank you for your sacrifice's...and doing push ups with a little boy..and showing why USA is the best

Melanie said...

What a beautiful tribute! I especially love the story about the little boy and the Serviceman. Thanks for sharing.

susan said...

beautiful post by a beautiful woman thanks for sharing this

Margo said...

What a sweet story thank you for sharing. I pray all of those service men are still with us.

Margo

Mary said...

That's a very thoughtful post today.. thank you. I was invited here by my sis that found your blog..(renae) simple sequins. We usually join many of the same..so, currently, I'm you newest follower.

sofa covers said...

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Memorial Day Thoughts - Revisited....
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Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

LaurieAnna: I'm a little late getting to you but what a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes, just as they came before while I was taking some pictures at our local cemetery to add to my post. We have so much to be thankful for because of all of them. Hope you week is going well..Judy

IBGRAMMY said...

I've had many experiences in traveling and thanking returning servicemen and women in airports but THIS TAKES THE CAKE! Wish I would have been there. THANKS to all our servicemen and women WE LOVE YOU!!!