I Chose To Remember On Memorial Day

I asked my son why we celebrate Memorial Day. He looked at me with a huge question on his face. So, I decided to tell him that it’s a day to honor and remember the men and women who sacrificed themselves everyday for our freedom. Some of them died and never got the chance to see their families again. He looked at me with a sad expression on his face.

For some reason, the image of my grandfather’s face keeps popping up in my brain. I didn’t know what it means . I decided to explore what it was. I never got to meet him. I only heard stories from relatives of who he was.

I always wondered who was the man behind the picture that my grandmother used to display during special family occasions. I was told that he was a U.S. war veteran pilot of WW II who fought with the American soldiers during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines. My dad really don’t talk much about him. He was less than 10 years old when  his dad died . Either he was too young to remember or he blocked the memory from his subconscious because it was  painful and traumatic for him. I just can’t imagine what’s it like to lose a dad that you considered as your hero , someone who embodies a man you want to become when you grow up. My grandma did not elaborate much about him either. She was a grieving widow and perhaps it hurts to tell detailed stories about him. But every year I would see her offer flowers, candles and prayers for him. I just wish she would have told us more about him. I did ask from relatives what he was like and they all told me that  he was a great father to his 4 children and a loving husband to his wife. But what struck me the most is that, he was a hero and a patriot. He would offer his life for his nation and his countrymen in a heart beat . And to his last breath, he just did that. He was the pilot of the plane carrying several passengers when the engine suddenly malfunctioned. He had to do an emergency landing but the landing strip was too narrow. He chose to save the passengers and in the process the pilot side crashed head on. He died instantly. My dad and his siblings lost a father that day.

Today, I chose to remember people like my grandfather who gave their lives preserving democracy. I chose to remember the men and women who had to leave their sons, daughters, or their spouses so that we can all sleep soundly at night. Consumerism has clouded this day with sales and all but again, I chose to honor this day and just stayed at home with my family. My wife cooked some delicious BBQ in our backyard while me and my son played  water games which was a lot of fun , not to mention refreshingly cool against the Texan Summer heat.

Just before dinner,  my son was getting bored. I gave him some blank papers and told him to draw something for me. It’s a great way to keep him preoccupied while me and my wife finish the rest of the food preparation. After about 30 minutes or so, he showed me his work. I kind of had an idea what it was but I just had to ask him . He told me that it’s a group of army soldiers headed by captain Cody surrounding a building. He said, ” the army soldiers are the good guys protecting the building from the bad guys.” My son’s all time favorite acting out game is playing an army soldier. I guess it runs in the family although it definitely skipped on me and my dad. He’s too young to know the realities of war and of  what it’s like being a defender of this great nation. His a kid and I would like him to go where his dreams and imagination takes him. As a parent, I have my fears about the army as a career for my son but I can not use that as an excuse to stop him from deciding what he wants to do with his life when he gets older. I’m here to guide him and support his plans in the future but in the end he has to follow the path destiny has paved for him. He has to listen to what his heart tells him.Whatever it is I hope to walk with him in his quest for happiness and finding his ultimate goal in life.

Captain Cody and his armies.

My son got these from Dollar Tree a few days ago. He still keeps his old toy sodiers in a seperate container.

To all our soldiers out there I pray for your safety. May God keep you protected and your family. May one day, you all get to go home and reunite with your love ones. I thank you for the sacrifices you have to make and the risks you have to take every single day so all of us can enjoy  the sweet taste of freedom , peace and equality.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
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18 Responses to I Chose To Remember On Memorial Day

  1. It sounds like you have a great legacy to pass on to your son filled with rich history. What a lucky young man!

    • Thanks Just Ramblin’ Pier. I would like to think so. I told him yesterday about his great grandfather, the Pilot and he looked amazed.He then started talking about this plane that crashed into a building. My wife said, ” where that happened?” I told her that there was one in Austin last year and may be he saw it in the news. I’m hoping to go home at the end of this year and show my son the rich heritage he has. It will be an honor for me to share it with him. Thanks again for the encouraging comments.

      • Sharing our history and heritage with our children is so important and I think a dying tradition. More should be sharing with their children like you do. No thanks here needed. You should be thanked for taking time to hand over your story to your child so that he may do so as well. : )

      • I would still like to Thank you Just Ramblin’ Pier. Acknowledging someone for sharing their history and heritage to their children inspires and motivates them to do more deeds of such nature. There’s so much distraction in this world that parents forget that they are the first and effective teachers of their kids. People like you helps us go back to the right path by giving encouraging words of support and wisdom. And for that I thank you and more…have a great day!

  2. eof737 says:

    What a beautiful tribute you gave…. You grandfather’s story is very touching and I like your son’s artistic expression…. Very lovely post. :-)
    Eliz

    • Thank you Elizabeth. I wish I could have known my grandfather on my father’s side. It felt good to write about him. I should have wrote something like this when my grandma was still alive. She would have love it. Thanks again.

  3. Tilly Bud says:

    You honour your grandfather by sharing his story.

    • Thank you Tilly Bud. It was indeed an honor for me to write something about him. Back in his days, there’s not much ways to preserve history except with a few pictures and letters, the rest was by word of mouth handed down through generations.

  4. thedailydish says:

    Your own thoughtfulness shines through your writing, IT, even when you’re dedicating yourself to the celebration of others. Your grandfather was a true hero and you’re right be proud. If more people were as selfless, they would be far less war. You are right to let you son have his imaginings as a child. As he grows and matures, your guidance will help show him the true path ahead, as will his heart and soul.

    • Thank you Christy. Reading your comment made me really happy. I just hope and pray that I would be able to raise my son righteously, to be able to teach him the right values in life, values that may serve him well someday. I just want him to grow into a generous, respectful, God-fearing , loving person and the only way for that to happen is for him to see it among his parents. LIfe is so much complicated nowadays and our kids can easily get lost once they get out to the real world. And for this reason, I’m trying to teach my son by example so he’s hopefully prepared for what’s out there.

  5. Patti Ross says:

    Thanks for sharing. It is so important to help the younger generation know of the sacrafices being made for all of us. It is up to all of us to honor our family heroes and the nation’s. Your family story is a great reminder.

    • Hi, Patti. Thanks for the comment. I believe too that we have the responsibility to tell the younger generations of the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have to go through so we can enjoy the fruits of freedom. We need to foster patriotism and that starts with us. I enjoyed reading your tribute to our soldiers as well as the beautiful pictures of America.

  6. Well… I just had to come by and say thank you for the kind words (greatly appreciated) and I am glad that we have connected.
    Memorial Day is so much more than a day off from work where we can hold barbecues and head for the shopping mall to buy stuff that is put on sale. I think that you have done a pretty darn good job summing it all up in a few words. Freedom has been paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of our men and women in uniform… past and present. It has been said that “Freedom is not free!” We owe these men and women a debt that we can never fully repay.
    Cody has quite the imagination and talent, let’s hope that he keeps it! Cheers!

    • Thanks Seth. This is the least I could do for enjoying the fruits of our soldier’s sacrifices for ensuring that peace, order and freedom is preserved in this country. We should honor our soldiers not just on this occassion but everyday that their fighting for us. We may never be able to repay their sacrifices but we could pray for them and their families and keep them in our thoughts. I’m really glad that you replied back and the comments you gave were generous and heartfelt just like the posts in your blog.

  7. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    You know, I have read an article wrote about what US soldiers have done to Iraq prisoners. It’s monstrously humiliating, it’s a mud in your nation’s face. How can human being treat human being that way? And even some soldier who’s female could do st so dehumanising. She led a naked Iraq man like a dog with a collar around his neck. When I read that I thought humanity becomes insane, especially at war, they aren’t humans anymore, they are monsters in my eyes. Sorry if words hurt!! If I were you, I’d rather let my son die than let him fighting for such a brutal and unjust war. I think there should be a basic change in your nation’s ideology.

    • Thanks for the blog visit. Everyone is entitled to express their own opinion.It is a part of our human rights. I don’t support the war itself but I pray for the soldiers and their families for putting their lives at risk everyday and that goes to any soldier around the world regardless of cultural background, beliefs and ideology. War is never fair. My prayers for those who lost their lives or their love ones. I pray that it will all end and peace will reign once again.

  8. I especially love this sentence. “I always wondered who was the man behind the picture that my grandmother used to display during special family occasions.” We need to notice, pay attention and above all remember. I never met my grandfathers. My mother’s dad’s picture displayed on her dresser and my dad’s father’s picture always prompted conversation about them at the most propitious and teachable/learnable times. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Thank you too Georgette. We need to celebrate our fathers, grandfathers and other family relatives. It keeps their memory alive . Our young ones can learn a lot from them too. as always, it’s a joy to read your passionate comments. Have a wonderful, inspiring day.

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