Monday, May 28, 2012

Reflecting on Memorial Day

 In recognition of Memorial Day, the day in which we remember those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, we made our annual visit to our local National Cemetery.  As a military family, this is a particularly special day for us.  We know some of the sacrifices that are made by these soldiers and their families and are deeply appreciative of their service and ultimate sacrifice for our nation, for us.
We walk the cemetery, reading the headstones, considering the possible sacrifices and contributions made by each - marveling at the men who served in both World War I and World War II; being emotionally moved by the set of fathers and sons buried at the same site, the fathers having served in World War II or in the Korean War but outliving their sons who died in the Vietnam War; and, respecting the contribution made by the Revolutionary era soldier buried at our cemetery.

This year Christian and I sought out the burial sites of the five Buffalo soldiers buried in our cemetery.  During the Civil War the U.S. government formed troops composed of black soldiers.  After the war, as part of an effort to reduce the size of the U.S troops, the government abolished these units but created new peacetime regiments.  Four cavalry regiments were created and two of these were composed entirely of black soldiers - the 9th Cavalry and the 10th Cavalry.  Also, four "colored" infantry units were created - the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry.  Buffalo soldiers escorted many groups of people through the wild west and fought over 177 engagements with the Indians during the period known as the Indian Wars.  They also participated in the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

As at least on of our Buffalo soldiers had been part of the 10th Cavalry during World War I we were particularly interested in learning of the role that they played during that war.  We found that the Buffalo soldiers were kept stateside during that war but they did support the 35th Infantry during a border skirmish, the Battle of Ambos Nogales, in which German military advisers fought alongside Mexican soldiers.  It is the only battle during World War I in which Germans were engaged and died in combat against U.S. soldiers in North America.  Absolutely fascinating!
We are so very grateful for their contributions to our great nation.
We are so very grateful for the contributions of all who have served.
Thank you!

We finished out our day by having BBQ pork sandwiches, cole slaw, corn and a skewered fruit flag made by Bishop.

Isn't it yummy looking?

We also played some croquet and...

finished off our evening with some festive ice cream sundaes and cones!

We began by focusing on our great nation and all that has been required of individual men and women in order to establish it and maintain its foundational principle of freedom, liberty.
And it ended beautifully with an emphasis on building a strong family, which may very well be one of the cornerstones to have a strong nation.

Thanks again to all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces! 

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