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A Memorial Weekend Story

Posted by Anthony Showen on

Hey folks who value all things American Made - here is my Memorial Weekend story.  Please enjoy and don't forget to take a few seconds to remember. 


Memorial Weekend means a lot of things to Americans.  I'm personally pleased it usually means "fun in the sun with friends and family over a long weekend."  From a family of veterans who have served in many wars including Korea, Vietnam and Irag, I love that Americans can just enjoy peace and happiness.  This is the gift our Military Service members have provided for you. 


Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have fallen in defense of our country. Some families have generations of lawyers and businessmen, my family has generations of servicemen.  My grandmother's older brother lost his life in the Navy during World War II.  My grandfather fought in the Korean War.  He felt his military service wouldn't have been complete if he didn't serve in Vietnam and subsequently was killed in early action of the Vietnam War.  My father and uncles served in Vietnam in the Marines and Navy.  They made it back safely, but they all came home as very different people for having served in a difficult war.  And finally, there was my service in the Navy on nuclear submarines during the Gulf War.  I can honestly say my life was much easier than most who served in the Gulf War. Floating deep in the ocean is a safe place compared to fighting in the chaos, heat and brutality of the desert.  


As a teenager, I didn't fully understand what Memorial Weekend meant until I visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall with my grandma.  If you have ever been to see the Vietnam Wall, or maybe had the opportunity to see the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, you know it is an ominous sight. My grandma was one of the toughest women I will ever know. She led the way towards the location of the wall that contained my grandfather’s name. As we got closer to his section, she slowed and no one spoke.  She stood a foot from the wall and scanned until she found his name.  As she touched her husband’s name the toughest women in my world broke down.  This was the first time I had ever seen my grandma inconsolable.  I cried for her and for the loss of a grandfather I would never get to meet.  Losing one man who was fighting for his country changed my family in so many ways. This is why we remember. 


Now for each of you, I go back to the beginning.  Have fun, drink a few beers and have the greatest long weekend of the year.  But, if you would be so inclined, take a few seconds and remember those who sacrificed for you and your families.


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