Memorial Day and my American duty of honoring it

Reblogger David Burrows
Real Estate Agent with Classic Realty Realtor

As a Veteran, I can share with you that it was an honor to serve our country. Although my service was many years ago, it seems as if it was yesterday. I served during the Viet Nam era (but NOT in Viet Nam) and of course lost friends and family as a result of the conflict. I appreciate Tammy and what she has penned in her post today.

This is only my second Re-Blog after being connected with Active Rain for several years now. I seldom do it! It is an honor to Re-Blog "Memorial Day and my American duty of honoring it".

Original content by Tammy Lankford, GREC# 169695

I just read a blog post that really shouldn't have made me angry, but somehow it always gets under my skin that Memorial Day has become a three day weekend about grilling and car sales.  Did you know that in 1968 Congress passed the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act" moving 4 holidays to Monday to give people three day weekends.  I truly believe it was the downfall of how Americans behave on Memorial Day.

Decoration Day!  That's what it's supposed to be about. 

I won't be visiting the grave of my uncle Johnny Wall (who was killed in Vietnam), BUT I will be visiting the local veterans cemetery.  I don't know who I'll choose this year, but I will be placing flowers on a grave.  I will honoring the service of someone who served our great nation and afforded me the freedom to grill a hamburger on Monday.  I may or may not recognize the name of the person I choose.  I come from a small community. But I will hold my moment of silence at the Veteran's Cemetery on May 30th.

I also come from a family with a history of service.  My husband does as well.  My mother's father served in the Army during WWII.  My father served and his service was involuntarily extended during the Vietnam conflict although he was fortunate enough not to actually serve in a war zone.  He served in the Navy.  My uncle Johnny, no so lucky was shot and killed by a sniper in Vietnam.  His body was escorted back to the United States by my Uncle Nelson who was doing his 3rd tour in the region. 

My Donald was a "Navy Brat" moving form port city to port city during his entire childhood and teenage years.  Then in his early 20's he joined the army and served during and in Desert Storm in the gulf region. My brother-in-law Kevin also served his country.  My brother-in-law Andrew has spent his adult life building ships for the Navy and Air Force (although a civilian, I see this as service to his country).

So this weekend when you're at a party, having a beer, grilling steak or burgers, visiting with family and friends and enjoying a holiday weekend here in the good old US of A please take a moment to remember.  Nearly every small town in America has lost a young man or woman in battle and wouldn't it be nice if you'd call them, send them flowers to their home.... let them know in some way that you realize that this weekend isn't about the "Memorial Day Sales" down at the mall or the backyard gatherings.  Let them know that you appreciate the freedoms afforded to citizens of our great nation by those who fought and although lost their own lives won the battles that make our nation so great and free.

Go on Google and search "fallen soldiers in anytown, your state" and find a name and do something nice for their family.  Yes, it might take a little research to find the address of the parents, the sons and daughters, the spouse left alone to carry on without their loved one.  But you are getting a day off... make it count, do something of value with it.  Close your eyes for just one moment and imagine it was your loved one who didn't make it home... What would it mean to you to receive a call, flowers, a note, a visit from a stranger who cared enough to let you know how much that life meant.  It will only take a few minutes out of your weekend and it will mean the world to those lives you touch.  In my community Staff Sgt. Alex French IV paid the ultimate sacrifice in 2009.  I will honor him this Memorial Day and thank his family.  Our community named a street after him this past year.

But I can only imagine the loss his family feels every single day.  I want them to know that I, a citizen, a patriot, an American am thankful for his service and I remember him.  I never met him, but I will never forget him. 

I also write to my congressmen annually and ask them to move Memorial Day back to May 30th.  I believe if it were honored on it's rightful day it would be less about the three day weekend it has become.  Veterans Day, thankfully was later restored to November 11th. 


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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good choice for a re-blog.  Have a special Memorial Day and an outstanding week.

May 26, 2012 10:54 PM #1
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


I honor you as a man who sacrificed his life for the sake of our freedom. Having been married to a Viet Nam Vet, I know the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you had to endure at a time when our country was broken. I'm proud to know that you have survived, as you said, many did not, and many (like my husband) lived short lives because if war didn't kill them, the aftermath and agent orange and all the medical conditions that came as a result of that sorrowful war did kill them.

David, I hope your heart is at peace. Recently I ran into a former Viet Nam Vet who was working on his fence while I was showing his property. I don't know how we got on the topic of Viet Nam, but somehow we did. He started the conversation and I chimed in. He held out his hands and said, "So you're one of the forgotten ones, and I'll bet your children are too!" Then he embraced me and we cried together. I'm sure my client (a young man) was freaked out. He just stood there while the two of us swapped war stories with tears running down our cheeks.

No, I did not do that client any good, he didn't buy anything from me, but I know that I touched something inside that Viet Nam Vet's soul and I will never forget him, as I will never forget you and the others, who served, especially those who survived and live with stories that people have learned to look away, look away, look away, soldier man... 

May 26, 2012 11:09 PM #2
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Roy and Patricia...... This is indeed a great Blog to post again.... Thanks for stopping by... Just a personal note: Patricia, I served during the Viet Nam Era (1966-1970), but not in Viet Nam and thought I should make that correction. However, like you, I lost family and friends and some of them died after the war as a direct result of the war. One young man I grew up with, shared with me how he couldn't sleep at night and would just go driving in the middle of the night. The memories were too much for him. Gary, during one of his middle of the night drives, fell asleep at the wheel, ran into a telephone poll and died instantly. 

Most important: Patricia, I am also sorry about your husband. My wife's cousin died in much the same way - after the war.

May 26, 2012 11:51 PM #3
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Great Memorial Day tribute to our troops.  It is certainly a time to stop and reflect. Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend.

May 27, 2012 12:32 AM #4
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

Like you David, I served during but not in Viet Nam.  I feel that although the vets of that era never got the respect and gratitude they deserved, at the very least, because there was a draft, almost everyone at that time was fully engaged in their feelings about the war, one way or another.  Now days we robotically say "Thank you for your service", slap a yellow ribbon sticker on our cars and think we are patriots.

Tammy's approach reaches out in a more meaningful way. Until we all get emotionally, financially,  physically and politically envolved in the true costs of these un-ending wars, though, we will never truly understand that so easily used phrase "Freedom isn't free" For all too many of us of late, it has been.

May 27, 2012 03:48 AM #5
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Captain Wayne, I agree that this is a time to stop and reflect. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

Leslie, thank you for your service and I totally relate to what you are sharing. Tammy shares a meaningful approach and that is why I Re-Blogged her writing. I truly appreciate your comments today.

May 27, 2012 04:06 AM #6
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

David- thanks for the re-blog and thanks for serving.  And I think you know that truly comes from my heart when I say it.  I am honored you felt my post worthy of your second reblog also.  My family has had many members serve their country and still others who work in law enforcement and my daughter is an EMT putting herself out there on the line for others daily, so when people are willing to sacrifice for me... I have to do my duty and give back.  I am sure my appreciation of service is changed by my family that serves, but that's not bad.  Praying every day that my cousin was in Afghanistan helped me to know the comfort of those other families I was praying for of those men and women I do not even know.  And I also pray for peace.  Don't know if this old world will ever see it, but I will continue those prayers as well.

May 27, 2012 05:09 AM #7
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No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate
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