Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering on Memorial Day

Today was a beautiful day outside! We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the weather and also remembering those that have passed on. Today is a day that we should remember the many who have given their time and lives so that we, as Americans, can live with freedom. Almost every year on this day, Joel takes the boys to the small town that he grew up in. They have a Memorial day service in the cemetery where Joel's Dad is buried. The weather was warm enough, so Gavin and I joined them this year.

The service is small, but powerful. It is an awesome way to stop and remember and thank those who have given so much for us. As one of the speakers said, "We should remember Memorial day in our hearts everyday." We have a lot to be thankful for! Here are some pictures of the service.

We also visited Joel's Dad's grave. The boys love to do this and to talk about "Grandpa Vander Wall." Jacob is the only one that got to know him, so he always shares what he remembers about him. We get a yearly picture of Joel and the boys at his site.

Next, we went to Joel's Grandma's grave site. And, just because our family of six always seems to encounter chaos and craziness when we all go out and about, of course there was adventure today! We drove to the spot that we remembered her to be at and then we spent close to an hour looking for her site. Joel just knew it was where we parked and I remembered it being near there too, but could we find it? No! So, we went to the cemetery office and sure enough, that's where it was supposed to be. They gave us a map and we went back to hunt it down. (Nolan and Caleb loved doing this!) After awhile it got to be frustruating. We figured that someone must have stolen her headstone. Finally we asked two grounds keepers to help us and they confirmed that this was where it should be, but none of us could find it! Joel and the guys started using shovels and a pitch fork to pound through the grass and finally one of them felt something hard. They started to dig and eight inches down they found her stone! Crazy huh?! They didn't know how this could have happened, but it did. It took a while, but it was worth it! We left feeling good that we were able to find it and the boys learned about perseverance!

Here is a picture of them digging the stone out:

Then we drove around, looked at flowers, went to the batting cages and finally home again. Gavin seemed to enjoy himself too, but I think that it wore him out!

Happy Memorial Day!!! Take time to remember those who gave you the gift of freedom!

"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:3-4


Lacey said...

Luckily for us the rain stopped and today was a beautiful day for us too. For some reason I don't like to go to my grandparents graves. Expecially my grandma, I want to remember her how she was and not look at a gravestone. But my mom feels close to her when she goes there, I guess everyone is different.

Alicia said...

Wow, that is crazy about the buried headstone!!! Glad you found it and were able to dig it out.

It is always good to remember that Memorial Day isn't just for cookouts and a day off from work. When my family was all closer in proximity, we would go to the cemetery on Memorial Day and clean up my little brother's grave and my PaPa's grave. PaPa fought in WWII on Iwo Jima. We owe our heroes a debt of gratitude every day.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

What a nice day. I thought of my grandpa all day today.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

What a great way to spend Memorial Day! I love that you have this tradition, and the photo of all your handsome boys is great! Gavin sure did get worn out, he is so cute sleeping. :)

Annette Gysen said...

That is a great tradition--the annual photo at the grave site. I'm sure it helps the boys to feel connected to their grandpa.

My name is Sarah said...

Wow what a day. Love the pictures and especially Gavin sleeping. He is so sweet.

Michelle said...

Looks like a wonderful family day outing. I almost cried seeing all the soldiers. I am so moved by the sacrifice. Thanks for sharing a lovely post!!