Memorial Day is Bittersweet
When I was growing up, Memorial Day always had the usual significance of being the three day weekend that signified the start of summer. Now, my Dad and Uncle were/are both WWII Army veterans, but my Dad never focused so much on that aspect of the day until he was much older.
I can remember his main complaint about VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) meetings at his senior housing being that so few people came. He forgot that there are actually so few veterans left from that war, since the ones who are still with us are all now in their 80s and 90s.
Hubby's Dad was a Navy Seal. In fact, he was one of the first Navy Seals in Korea and then Vietnam. He was a commanding officer and spent many months MIA in various theaters of war. This, needless to say, caused a lot of stress for hubby and his Mom.
Memorial Day combines with Fleet Week in NYC, so in addition to the gratitude I feel for our armed forces, I am reminded about how many young people are still going to war and keeping the machine running. Given how deeply his war experience affected the rest of my father's life, and how growing up as a Navy kid affected hubby, I have very mixed emotions today.
After all, I did wake up in my beautiful apartment, tucked in my supremely comfortable bed alongside the love of my life with our beautiful dog. I do have an awesome job, with fabulous clients and a great studio owner. In general, my life is pretty great. And it is partially due to veterans like my Dad, my Uncle, and my Father-in-law.
Here is a recording of my Uncle Bob discussing his WWII experience for the New York State Military Museum.