Reading. It’s still an awesome activity. I mean books. Doesn’t matter if it’s the hold in your hand kind or on a “devise”. Another source of entertainment is home movies. But I have some things specific in mind for this Memorial Day.
I never was much interested in history. That has always been Husband’s thing. That is until my Mother-in-law sent us the PBS, DVD series The War by Ken Burns. Husband was on the 3rd disk when I passed through the room with a load of clothes to put away when something on the TV caught my attention and sat down to watch. Needless to say, the clothes did not get put away for some time.
The War is a nine DVD movie that took 6 years to make and focuses on interviews of citizens from four different towns. These are from those who were there…women who threw their empty lip stick tubes into bins to be melted down into bullets and airplane parts. The rationing of meat, sugar and milk. The stories of the soldiers through their surviving loved ones or journal and letters left behind. It brings out how Hitler took over eleven countries and had serious designs on America. We really were next.
My book of choice is Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich for this Memorial Day. No matter what you think of his politics, he is an awesome historian. The entire book is a detailed account of George Washington being held up at Valley Forge during one of the worst winters ever known at that time. It is unlikely we would be enjoying the freedoms we currently have if it wasn’t for Washington and the thousands of men who gave their lives for this idea called freedom.
If I may be so bold as to suggest one more book. Killing England by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, the latter being the researcher. This book takes you right into the revolutionary war, giving you an up close and really personal view of Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and their fight with the obstinate King George lll.
The colonists were out manned, out gunned and out trained but this book tells you how and why they managed to beat the British.
And last, try some research. I was going through my cedar chest one day and found my Dad’s dress Army coat at the bottom in a plastic bag. It had been there for 25 plus years but I never really paid much attention to it. I pulled it out and started Googling the different pins and braided rope on the coat. then I pulled out a small box of metal pins that was in one of my junk drawers and researched those. My Dad never really talked about the war and through my research, I found out why. He was at Normandy on Omaha Beach. Enough said. It explained a lot.
I encourage everyone to do their own research. Don’t settle for what is blowing through the prevailing political winds, or what Facebook and professors are spouting.
I understand Memorial Day is about remembering those men and women who have given their lives for our country and our freedom. I thank them. I also want to give thanks to a group of veterans that in a way, have also died a little. And those are to the veterans suffering from PTSD. Part of their normal life, their hopes and dreams have been replaced with crippling horrific memories. They also, have fought for my freedom and lost a part of theirs along the way. I speak also of the thousands of veterans that have lost limbs and must learn a new way to function. I thank you all!
So this Memorial Day, DO have fun. Parties and parades and back yard bar-b-q’s are a great way to celebrate our freedom that others have ensured for us. Enjoy your day!