This weekend is Memorial Day in the states. It is a day on which those who died during active military service are remembered. Not just in the states, but also by our soldiers and family stationed outside of the US and in the many American Cemeteries overseas.
I have had the privilege of being at the American Cemetery in Margraten on Memorial Day (The American Cemetery in Margraten). On this day each grave is graced by both the American and Dutch flag. Flowers adorn many graves, and stand tall at the entrance. A beautiful showing of the gratitude and love the Dutch have for the American sacrifices on their behalf. It is moving and heart-warming.
My aunt & uncle live just around the corner, in my grandparents old house (50 Shades of Red). After our visit last month, before our drive up to Amsterdam, Soren asked to visit the American Cemetery. To pay his respects. I am always a proud Mama, but sometimes my kids melt my heart just a little more. He had limited vacation time, and a list a mile long of places to see, things to do. And yet he wanted to take the time to visit the cemetery and pay his respects to all the American soldiers buried there.
The American Cemetery in Margraten is hauntingly beautiful. Each grave is adopted by a local family and tended faithfully. Every time I step inside the gates I feel both peace and an immense sadness. There are over 8,000 American soldiers buried here. Men, husbands, sons, who never made it home. Who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight to liberate the Dutch from the Nazi regime. The two walls on either side of the entrance are a Tablet of the Missing, an accounting of over 1,700 soldiers who were never found.
This Memorial Day take a moment to remember all those who died while in service to our country. Dave often says that when he joined the Army, he wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount of up to and including his life. These men and women paid that price. They deserve our respect and to be remembered.