Memories and remembrance have been a theme for this long weekend. It began last Thursday with Memory Day for my 8th grader. Mass was followed by a morning of awards, speeches and photos. Watching the sideshow looking back and remembering days gone by made me sad on so many levels. I was sad that moments in time had slipped away. I was sad that friends and teachers had passed on. I was sad that my little curly girl had grown up right before my eyes and was leaving the safe place she had called home for 11 years. Sadness permeated my soul.

I was reminded by the priest at Mass that we remember the bad more than the good. Why is that? I wanted her to remember every moment of her time in school. Not just the bad. I wanted her to remember the good and great times too. I wanted to pause, breathe and commit this morning to memory. I wanted to freeze this moment in time. So I took pictures and mental snapshots of this last morning together. Her final day as an 8th grader.

This weekend was also Memorial Day. Saturday morning I ran a 10 mile race dedicated to freedom and veterans. I really focused my energy on those who have given their all for my freedom. Crossing the finish line was done with a dance….a dance of liberation and freedom. A dance of gratitude.

I am grateful for all those men and women who have put on and will put on a uniform to protect the warm blanket of security and freedom I sleep under each night. If there is one thing I hope to instill in my own children and the children I teach is gratitude to our military men and women as well as their families. Our military sacrifice so much on a daily basis and some pay the highest price for all we hold dear. There is a time and place to disagree with the government and politicians. Taking these frustrations and aggravations out on our military is not only unfair to them but disrespectful. The average age of enlisted personnel is 20 years old. Many join up not being able to legally drink but they can legally die for their country. Many enlist to gain education and assist in supporting a family. Many have never left their home state and before they know it they are halfway around the world in a place they have only seen in books or on t

Military service is a task many of us would not choose for ourselves or our children. It is not easy nor glamorous but it can be rewarding. It is our job to reward these heroes and she-roes on a daily basis by thanking them for serving our country. It is our job to assist their families in any way possible. It is our job to remember …. The bad and the good ….. but mostly the great. peace.

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