Memorial Day Ceremonies….

I’ll be headed out soon to the local cemetery where the VFW leads the annual ceremony of speeches, firing of the 21 gun salute, playing of taps and then volunteers place small American flags on the graves of veterans. I cover the story each year for the paper and there are usually multiple Scout Troops as well as individuals and other organizations that participate. Hubby is teaching – as is usually the case – so I’ll do the best I can with photos. Okay, I managed to let the day slip away from me and didn’t finish this yesterday. The ceremony was nice as usual with a few new participants and some who weren’t able to attend this year.

Looking back though to many years ago – as in 33 – the Memorial Day of 1991 was very special to us and had nothing to do with official ceremonies. As I have mentioned in other posts, we were in Germany when Iraq invaded Kuwait August 1990. The immediate response units such as the 101st and 82d Divisions and associated Air Force, Marine, and Navy units began Operation Desert Shield as decisions were  planned, then made for Desert Storm, the offensive operation. Hubby had to leave first in November (actually on our anniversary) and I followed the first week of December. I’d sent ten-year-old-son back to the States where he stayed initially with his paternal grandparents for Christmas, on to Texas to be with my sister and her family, then back to Maine after school. Texas schools were out in May.

After the “Lightning Fast” war, there were refugee operations and a follow-on force to put together. As logisticians, we of course helped get tens of thousands of troops on their way home first. Therefore it was May before we were scheduled to leave, but didn’t know exactly what day it would be so couldn’t make firm plans to bring son back. We were also exhausted and needed a few days to semi-recover. Since even at that age, he was a seasoned traveler, we agreed he could make his first Transatlantic flight alone. Hubby’s parents lived not quite an hour from Atlanta, so he flew from Maine to Atlanta, stayed with them a couple of days, then we allowed him to pick one of three cities to fly into as they were all direct flights. He chose London. We drove over, spent the night, were reunited with him the following morning and spent another three days there. While it wasn’t an official ceremony, it was certainly a great one.


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