Let Us Never Forget

Dear Readers,

Here's my IOU.  Thanks for waiting, but I had a lot to say and I wanted to give it justice.

I love Monday holidays.  After having a regular weekend, then all of a sudden there is one more day to relax and play!  Of course, as I relax and play I always think about why we get the holiday.

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is to remember soldiers who have died in wars.  It started back with the Civil War.  Veterans Day is to remember and celebrate anyone who fought in a war, whether they be veterans that are still living or those who have died.  Anytime is a great time to support our military, so if you did that on Memorial Day, I commend you for getting your patriotic on, though technically you celebrated six months early.

While it is exciting to celebrate those who have returned, Memorial Day is always a sobering time as you realize that those we are celebrating had no hero's welcome with parades and fireworks.  They didn't get to return home to the country that they were fighting for and enjoy living in "the promised land".  They left behind families, current and potential.  They gave their life and all of their potential, so I could be free and comfortable, spoiled really.

I hope to never forget that.

Who do I thank?  The soldiers aren't here.  I suppose I could find their families and descendants of those who died in battle, but I think the best way that I could thank and honor them is to remember.  Remember that freedom does come with a price, and that it wasn't paid by me.  Their sacrifice has blessed me.  I will remember.  I will not forget.

Lessons from the past are powerful.  I was fortunate to spend my Memorial Day weekend with those who remember the past.  In addition to celebrating Memorial Day, I participated in a celebration of western heritage, cowboys, pioneers, a time of horses and cattle.

There were many pioneers who settled the Western United States, especially the Mormons.  Persecuted, they sought refuge in Utah.  The mass exodus is a major part of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The journey took them months of walking and many groups made the trip.  They are to be revered.  Their courage to be admired.  Some of them also died before reaching the end.

We have a special holiday to recognize the pioneers.  It is July 24th, yet many do not celebrate.  Many do not remember.  Some seem to think that it is only for those who are descendants of pioneers, that if you do not have family ties than it means nothing to you.  Our Church is what is is because of the pioneers, just as our country is what it is because of the soldiers.  I have heard converts to the Church feel left out, or get offended that the Church celebrates a holiday for those who have such generational ties to the Church, but they misunderstand.  It doesn't matter who walked the plains, it matters that they did.  It matters that we remember and celebrate.

I think the best thing we can do is always remember and never forget.  The Church has restored countless historic sites so that people can see and understand where we came from and appreciate the strong testimonies in the frail beginnings of the Church that now has millions of members worldwide.

There is much to remember.

Let us never forget.

Thank you soldiers.  I cannot wait for the Fourth of July.

Thank you pioneers.  I cannot wait for the Twenty-Fourth of July.

Example of a Historic Site - Winter Quarters, NE
The Winter Quarters Temple
 Kanesville Tabernacle (IA)- Where Brigham Young was sustained as the President of the Church
My little Pioneer, awwww
Husband being sworn in, Go military!!!
 Family Picture from that day......eeks, we all look so young! (couldn't resist sharing...where'd my baby go?)

In remembrance,


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