I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Memorial Day Remembrance 2021 & Family

So thankful for those who served, including family

I sat in the car not far from where individuals and families, including the Scheidies family, gathered to honor those who fought, and many died for their country. After a very cold, rainy, muddy Sunday, Monday was warm with enough breeze to show off all the American flags decorating the Minden Cemetery. A few puffy white clouds floated in the blue sky, a change even from the darker clouds showing on our drive to Minden.

At times, the only sound was the flapping of the huge flags and the soft, reverent voices of those searching for graves of loved ones. A variety of flowers on most of the graves added color to green grass and brown, off white, and gray marble grave monuments. I watched parents point out graves to younger children and adults stooping down to carefully place flowers. Memorial Day was solemn, but also peaceful.

The Scheidies family has gathered for years twice a year the last weekend in April and the weekend after Thanksgiving. Last year we had no large gathering as a family–except one, In June we laid to rest LaVern Scheidies, my husband’s beloved father. We’d also gathered, at that same time, to remember Keith’s next oldest brother Mark. Neither died due to Covid 19, but both deaths were unexpected and difficult.

This year, we chose to get together, not in April, but in May, Memorial Day weekend. We’d already spent Sunday together at the Scheidies’ farm–eating, laughing, playing games, crying a bit, and, finally, hugging one another. It was a comfort to be together.

We chose Memorial Day weekend because Keith’s dad was a veteran, and proud of it. A couple of years earlier, two of Keith’s brothers took Dad’s letters and other information and items from World War II and created a book for each family. We have that reminder of him now.

What made this Memorial Day special was on this day a flag would be dedicated in LaVern’s honor as a veteran. I stayed in the car because the walk to where the service was held would have taken far too long. I couldn’t actually make out the words spoken by the speakers, I heard the background hum and later got to view the new flag flying in the gentle breeze.

In the quiet of the late morning, I thought about those from around the country, my dad included, who answered the calls to fight, many long ago in the World Wars, to leave behind family and friends to protect the country from a horrifying menace of evil, torture and death. These brave men and women accomplished what they set out to do. America survived because of those willing to fight evil. I closed my eyes and gave thanks.

We still have those in the military and on the police force doing their best to protect and serve. Yes, some make wrong choices. Most do not. We must not paint them all with the same brush. Instead, let’s support and give thanks for the many, many who keep us safe.

© 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub column 6/21/21
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