While many people are doing research on where to spend the long weekend, I decided to do research on Memorial Day instead. At first, I wanted to share with you historic facts on Memorial Day until I found this touching story written by Captain John Rasmussen on skywriting.net
EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina — It was raining “cats and dogs” and I was late for physical training.
Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell, Ky., and was moving way too slowly. I was probably going to be late and I was growing more and more impatient.
The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst redeployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each soldier’s memorial plaque.
My concern at the time, however, was getting past the bottleneck, getting out of the rain and getting to PT on time.
All of a sudden, infuriatingly, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me stopped.
A soldier, a private of course, jumped out in the pouring rain and ran over toward the grove.
I couldn’t believe it! This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank. Horns were honking.
I waited to see the butt-chewing that I wanted him to get for making me late.
He was getting soaked to the skin. His BDUs were plastered to his frame. I watched-as he ran up to one of the memorial plaques, picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground in the wind and the rain, and set it upright again.
Then, slowly, he came to attention, saluted, ran back to his car, and drove off.
I’ll never forget that incident. That soldier, whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect than a hundred books or a thousand lectures.
That simple salute — that single act of honoring his fallen brother and his flag — encapsulated all the Army values in one gesture for me. It said, “I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am an American soldier.”
I thank God for examples like that.
And on this Memorial Day, I will remember all those who paid the ultimate price for my freedom, and one private, soaked to the skin, who honored them.
It was in 1950, when Edith and Robert Scalise began their life of wedded bliss in Waldorf-Astoria. The famed Park Avenue hotel cost them $26.72 for night. “We couldn’t afford to stay in this hotel again after that night,” Edith said. “We used to come every once in a while for dinner, but I’ve been having this dream to stay here for years.”
Exactly 60 years later, the 85-year-old couple checked into the hotel of their memories, and paid not a penny more. In honor of the couple’s long and happy married life, the hotel offered them a suite to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and honored the same price – $26.72. It is wonderful how the happy couple was given one more chance to go back to the beginning and relive that wonderful 1950 day.
Read more at NY Daily News
Here in Waynoka, we have a main line of the railroad system run right through town. You can hear the train whistle blowing from most anywhere. Hearing the train today made me think…
Growing up on Emporium Avenue, West Seneca, NY, (a suburb of Buffalo, NY), I remember many nights laying in my bed which was next to a window facing some railroad tracks and the NY State Thruway, (I-90 for non-NY residents).
Growing up poor and not being too far from home for most of my growing up…I dreamed of days of travel. I would lay awake at night and count train cars and automobiles thinking to myself: “Where are they going…who are these people…what would it be like to travel, far and wide and see different things and meet different people?” I would lay there wishing that I would be able to travel one day to far away places…As a family we never went anywhere, I did not see Niagara Falls till I graduated from high school, thank you Marcia Giambrone. (Niagara Falls was less than 20 miles away from my house).
Here I sit at 53 thinking of all the places I have visited and all the places I have lived. 38 different states, almost 100 different cities, different countries, England, Canada, Philippines, Korea, Japan, even Cuba. I have been in 68 different airports around the world, some more than once, we as a family have been involved in incredible ministries having moved 24 times in 30 years of marriage, (some across town, others across continents even around the world).
I guess I am writing to say thank you Lord! A little boy lying in bed dreaming of great opportunities and I have had them. Oh I know it might not be over and that roots might not grow as deep as I want them to right now, but I am blessed to say that I feel like I have had a ride of my life….
What are your dreams and wishes? Did/Do you lay awake at night and ask God to fulfill them? Did/Do you lay awake at night and ask God to use you in the midst of your desires to make your desires become a part of the plan God has for your life and the lives you interact with?
There goes another train whistle…I wonder where that train is going?
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling.
They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy’s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her.
The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. In time, the labor pains came.
Soon it was every five minutes, every three …every minute.
But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor.
Would a C-section be required? Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition.
With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents, “There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst.”
Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby but now they found themselves having to plan for a funeral.
Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. “I want to sing to her,” he kept saying.
Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.
Karen made up her mind, though. She would take Michael whether they liked it or not! If he didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive.
She dressed him in an oversize scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket. But the head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, “Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed.”
The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse’s face, her lips a firm “He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!”
Karen towed Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray —“Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady.
“Keep on singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. “You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don’t take my sunshine away-” As Michael sang to his sister, the baby’s ragged, strained breathing became a smooth as a kitten’s purr.
“Keep on singing, sweetheart!!!” “The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms…”Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her.
“Keep on singing, Michael.” Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. “You are my sunshine, my only Sunshine. Please don’t, take my sunshine away…”
The next, day…the very next day…the little girl was well enough to go home! Woman’s Day Magazine called it “The Miracle of a Brother’s Song.”
The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God’s love!