I often wonder, as I visit the local veteran's cemetery, about the people who served our country in years past. I have two family members buried at the Arkansas State Veteran's Cemetery in North Little Rock, Arkansas. I love to visit in order to pay tribute to the veterans buried there. Not only because my uncle and grandfather are buried there, but because I feel a sense of pride when I do. It almost brings tears to me eyes when I visit on a holiday where they put out all the American flags. I wouldn't even try to begin to guess the number of veterans and their spouses that are buried in the cemetery. But, to see that people want to have the job of taking care of the cemetery is just simply amazing. On Memorial Day and 4th of July, the workers set out at the start of their day and place an American flag on the grave of each soldier. Then, at the end of the day, they set out once again to take up the flags. If you have never payed tribute to the American soldier in this way, I urge you to do so. Once you are standing in the large fields of stone among veterans of wars past, it really humbles you to think that many people served this great country in order to protect our freedoms so that people can be free to do what they want to do. And to know that on the day that I go to meet God; I, too, will be laid to rest among these great heroes of our country. Ok, enough rambling, here are the photos I have to share today.
This is my uncle. He is the uncle that I was closest to my whole life. He served on the front lines in Korea. Somehow, he ran into one of his neighbors from his hometown. His neighbor knew that my uncle's father was disabled. So, he had my uncle sent back to Arkansas in order to take care of his father. But not without my uncle serving on the front lines in Korea.
My grandfather, Robert Conrad, served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. Being a Merchant Marine during the war came with many risks. Coming under the Coast Guard, these men were basically escorts for merchant ships during war time. For many years they were not really considered part of the military, according to our government. Then, back in the 1980's, congress recognized these brave young men as veterans and provided legislation for these veterans to gain full veteran benefits. Because of this, we were able to lay my grandfather to rest with honor.
So, if you ever get the chance, make it a point to visit our veterans and tell them thank you. Thank you for all the sacrifices that they have made to keep this country free. And don't forget to stop by and join the fun at Create With Joy.