|Posted by Siouxland Republican Women on July 2, 2011 at 5:51 PM|
The Fourth of July is a great time for reflection on our nation’s freedoms. Freedom which merits appreciation and protection. In order for our younger generations to understand the freedoms we have and not take them for granted, it’s up to us to tell the stories, share the memories and help them understand history.
Melissa DeAnne Molstad understands the importance of tradition. Here is her story of Memorial Day traditions and passing on the respect, understanding, appreciation, and tradition which teaches the next generation by example.
Growing up, as I did, in the small country community with parents most proud of being Americans, honoring Memorial Day is as routine as celebrating Jesus’ birthday at Christmas by attending the midnight Christmas Eve service. It is an established habit. One that I am proud of.
Every year on that Monday in May, we get up, put on our red, white and blue, load up in the family vehicle, and yes, for a time it was a wood-looking paneled station wagon, and head out to Willow Creek Lutheran Church. (Willow Creek, by the way, was built with my great grandparents, Ole and Karen Opland, doing their part, on the highest hill in Minnehaha county.) At 9 am sharp the retired soldiers of the Dell Rapids VFW arrive and the Memorial Day service commences. In efficient soldier order, they march in, take their spots, stand in attention and wait while a local chaplain prays and young adults read, “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, “America’s Answer” by R.W. Lillard, “the Unknown Soldier” by Deborah Walker Kellie and “The Gettysburg Address” by President Abraham Lincoln.
Following the reading youngsters attending the service lay flowers on the graves of those men (there aren’t any women soldiers buried at Willow Creek) buried there who gave of their time, talent and often their youth, to serve America and fight for our freedoms. This year, as in the past few, our children have been given the honor and opportunity to lay the flowers on the graves. It is a good thing for them to do. The trumpet plays “Taps” and the nine soldiers salute their fallen with their M1 Garands. Every year, the first simultaneous shot makes me jump. Every year, the trumpet brings tears. Every year, I leave proud to be an American, grateful to have been born HERE, and glad to have been part of such a heritage of conscious habits that hopefully are getting passed down.
What family traditions do you have that teaches respect, appreciation, and understanding of our patriotic values? As Melissa did with Memorial Day, what will you tell your children and grandchildren about why we celebrate the 4th of July?
Posted by Anne Nelson