Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend


Every year, we run into our friends, the Richters at the Luminaria so this year, we decided to actually attend it together...but of course, we had to meet at Carl's first. (Carl's is Fredericksburg's favorite ice cream haunt. They sell 3 flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawbery and accept only cash.) Even Ruth, Cam's puppy, was excited to go.

Several years ago, we really searched for ways to explain to our children what Memorial Day was supposed to commemorate. It isn't just a day that Dad stays home from work and they don't have to do schoolwork. We want them to understand the sacrifice that others have made so they can enjoy the benefits of living in the United States. The Luminaria is an amazing way for them to visualize the sacrifice of thousands of men.

All say Saturday, Scouts are busy setting thousands of luminarias on headstones at the Fredericksburg National Cemetary on Lafayette Boulevard. At dusk, park rangers are stationed throughout the park to either describe a soldier or to tell about the battles that took place on the hillside. Every half hour, silence descends on the entire park as hundreds of people stop chatting or walking and turn to face the American flag while a trumpeter rings out the haunting sound of Taps. It's astounding how such a simple melody can be so moving.

As we were leaving the park, Benjamin held my hand and asked me what it meant to live in a free country. I described to him how not every country allowed its citizens to worship God or read the Bible or even to travel to a different state for medical care. He was stunned. He said, "That's amazing." True. We are so indebted to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
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