Memorial Day 2017

Capt MJ

15-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
I regularly wear one of my 9/11 pins, but I wear them more around military-related holidays, to keep those colleagues and friends in mind who lost their lives at work that day while I made it out, as well as all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I'm very fond of it. Anytime I'm tempted to have a pity party for myself, it's an instant re-calibrator. Helps ground me in the midst of holiday activities. I usually do some volunteer activity during the weekend.

What do you do?

DH and I drove Sprout (son) to DH's parents' home in a larger midwestern city a couple hours from us. Tomorrow, we will take Sprout to the national cemetery for Sprout's first flag-planting morning. For Sunday, FIL, MIL and I are cooking 3 dishes for a veterans' picnic (FIL makes mean BBQ baked beans), and Monday we'll take Sprout to the Memorial Day parade.

CaptMJ, we stand behind you in solidarity. We both knew people in the Pentagon and the WTC that day, but were comfortably insulated from the kind of loss that you and so many others represented here (NavyHoops) endured. I hope that it's enough that we both try to raise our son to be humble before the legacy of the United States of America, and the many people who believed so strongly in unity and diversity that they drew their last breaths in its defense.
We visit my dad's grave at the VA cemetery, then DS volunteers with the animal shelter- free pets for Vets. I've sent a few boxes of cigars to the sandbox for morale, and the guys sent me back a coin I carry on holidays, reminds me there's so much to do and precious people who do it!1495856107556.jpg
Yesterday evening, DH and I attended a dinner, outdoor symphony concert, and fireworks show in honor of those who have given all as well as those still serving and have served.

We had the great honor to not only spend the evening with 5 WW II vets and 2 Gold Star mothers, but to also be in the presence of 60+ other veterans and their families from most of the services. For once, DH and I felt like the "youngsters" in the crowd.
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I work with a handful of USNA and USMA grads. We got together yesterday at our gym at work and completed The Murph workout. We then went out and had a drink and toast to all our buddies. Honestly for all of us in that group every day is Memorial Day. We all have our own ways of celebrating those we lost daily. For me, I have a wall of those who I was closest with I walk by and pause at before I head out for the day. I wear a KIA bracelet with their names daily (it takes 3 to cover all the names... I rotate them). All of us I work with wear KIA bracelets daily as a way to remember.
One of my classmate put together a beautiful video tribute, not only to all those lost; but especially to our classmates that have left our midst.

This is always a tough "holiday" for me.

I did nothing this year (although I did sit in hours of traffic returning from the Eastern Shore of MD.

I used to attend the Coast Guard's wreathlaying ceremony at Arlington for Veterans Day, but I stopped doing that last year.
My wife's family has a big reunion at the beach every Memorial Day weekend. Usually there are about 75 attending. We spend it honoring our deceased WWII vets, including some lost in the air over Europe and on the battle fields of Italy. We honor our aging Viet Nam vets and our two retired post-Viet Nam Navy veterans. We also pray for our four family members currently serving, three as officers, all of whom are currently deployed and were unable to attend this year. I also watch some Memorial Day oriented You Tube videos, and some feature length films, with a much needed box of tissues at my side. The tears always flow freely that day.
Memorial Day Weekend. In addition to a private visit to my husband down in Section 60, we attended a reception for surviving family members, attended the Memorial Day concert on the Mall, and arranged for the Gold Star Wives of America flags to be carried in the procession of flags at the amphitheater and then attended the National Memorial Day Ceremony at ANC. Some of my ladies will ride with Rolling Thunder and attend the weekend full of TAPS events. All the while, I am trying to engage with Gold Star Wives and their families with the aim of building our collective network as well as raising awareness of our issues to policy makers and program heads.