Memorial Day Weekend

Here in the U.S.A. we are at the beginning of our Memorial Day Weekend with Monday May 25th being a national Memorial Day holiday.

When we were in Southern California for our nephews wedding in 2012 we made a special trip to Riverside National Cemetery where Dear’s father was buried in October of 1985, just a couple months before our Katie was born. Today I’m sharing some very dramatic memorials from the cemetery for this Memorial Day Weekend.

When the Warrior Returns

When the warrior returns, from the battle afar,
To the home and the country he nobly defended,
O! Warm be the welcome to gladden his ear,
And loud be the joy that his perils are ended:
In the full tide of song let his fame roll along,
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng,
Where, mixed with the olive, the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brows of the brave.

~ Francis Scott Key

We thank God our son-in-law, our warrior returned from his perils.

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Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments. It was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres from March Air Force Base, which during World War II was called the U.S. Army’s Camp William G. Haan. The cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials Nov. 11, 1978. An additional 181 acres was transferred by the Air Force in 2003.

The dramatic, meandering landscape features a central boulevard with memorial circles, lakes, indigenous-styled committal shelters, and a memorial amphitheater.

Riverside National cemetery is home of the Medal of Honor Memorial and one of four sites recognized as a National Medal of Honor Memorial Site. The Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients, is located at the third traffic circle in the cemetery. It was dedicated in 1999.

Walking up to the Medal of Honor Memorial you see each of the seals of the branches of service. Of course we have our favorite…

Several Medal Honor Recipients are buried at this cemetery.

The Fallen Soldier/Veterans’ Memorial, erected in 2000, is dedicated to all service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The dramatic bronze structure topped by a lifeless soldier is located near the lake at the entrance to the cemetery.

This and the POW/MIA Memorial were very moving…

The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial was designated as a national memorial by the U.S. Congress in 2004 through Public Law 108-454. The memorial was dedicated on September 16, 2005. Vietnam veteran Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., sculpted the bronze statue which depicts an American serviceman on his knees with hands bound by his captors. The statue is surrounded by black marble pillars that evoke imprisonment.

While we were at the cemetery we had an unexpected treat. See everyone looking up? March Air Force Base was hosting an air show this weekend and we got a wonderful view of the Patriots Jet Team.

Hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.

Catching Up…

After being gone so long from my home I’ve been spending lots of time catching up and getting things around this old house back to normal.

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We don’t have a gardening service so the first thing I addressed was our lawn and some beds and shrubs. I spent four and a half hours last Thursday and my body is still recovering from being taxed like that.

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I came home to blooms that were spent and blooms that were thriving. These are the sweet rosebud azaleas I bought with a gift card from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook to purchase something to plant in memory of my mom who passed away last September 13th.

This next collage is of my older azalea plants.

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overgrown yard 009Most of my rhoddys are on their way out but I’ve been able to enjoy a few blooms.

2014-05-22 May Yard GregWhile I was gone my pink dogwood bloomed and Dear took some photos for me. This is the fullest it’s bloomed since we planted it a couple years ago. The green leafed shot is the stage it is at now.

2014-05-22 overgrown yard2I’m so excited that my young peony bush has over 6 buds this year. Last year we only had one.

overgrown yard 035After I mowed and watered I took this before photo of our patio. Yesterday Dear put the covers on. I’ll take more photos of the after shots when a couple more projects get done like pressure washing.

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When we went to barbecue steaks yesterday our barbecue would not cooperate so Dear has some extensive cleaning and de-clogging of the poor old thing before it lights up. Plan B went into effect and we broiled the steaks inside and microwaved the corn. It all tasted good and sharing the meal with our kids was wonderful.

It’s so so good to be home again. It’s so nice that Dear gets a long weekend at home before he has to travel again next Friday to Chicago.  I can’t stop thanking God for the fact that our son-in-law is home from Afghanistan. We continue throughout this Memorial weekend and beyond to be thankful for those who have served and are serving our country.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Memorial Day Weekend

 We take time to stop and remember the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom.

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This weekend we remember those who served our country and died in combat. This is the Veteran’s Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California.

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IMGP7120Part of our family was able to spend some time at this cemetery in May of 2012. Dear’s father is buried here and we had never seen his grave marker.

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There were many sobering monuments at this National Cemetery. The Veterans Memorial was one of them. Another sobering monument was the POW/MIA monument.

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We remember that this isn’t just a long weekend and a barbecue but a significant time that has been set aside on our calendars to acknowledge that sacrifices have been made for our nation and our well being.

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We do also plan to celebrate the living this weekend with a barbecue timed strategically between the rain showers! What are your plans?

Remembering…

We are taking time to remember the fallen and to also remember our Veterans and those serving our country right now. This is a photo of Dear’s father who served during WWII. This is Rex and Verna’s wedding photo. Dear’s father passed away in 1985. Dear’s mother passed away in 1997. Verna’s father and brothers served in WWII also.

I’m going to start with today and then backtrack to yesterday to share our weekend events so far. Today after church we had a couple over who have a son serving in Afghanistan right now in the Army. We talked about his service now in Afghanistan and his past service in Iraq.

We had this dish I used to make years ago and was happy to revive. I’ll be posting it on MGCC in the near future.

Our lives with this couple have intersected in different ways over the years. The wife we knew first years ago. Her new husband we just met a few months ago. He and his first wife were our daughter’s camp leaders for a special training of young leaders in the late 90’s. His wife died and over the course of time our friend from years ago ended up marrying this man. Are you tracking here? Anyway it has been nice to catch up with them as a new couple and enjoy talking about the intersection of our lives.

Both of our “boys” have been in Afghanistan and we pray for the safety of the one there now and for our son in laws future deployment.

Too bad I didn’t have an army flag to add to our centerpiece.

On Saturday we got lots done around this old house. We cleared out and organized in our basement which included shredding a lot of old papers we do not need to save anymore. Dear cleaned out and rearranged a few vehicles in his shop and he’s happy with the results so far. We planted 3 large bushes. There were a few neighborhood garage sales going on so we took advantage of the constant traffic by putting out some items we wanted to get rid of with a FREE sign on them. Boy did that stuff disappear fast! We barbecued hamburgers and corn on the cob for a late afternoon meal with Josh and Laura. We also had barbecued beans and watermelon. A nice time of catching up.

The weather on Saturday was nice enough for us to be able to eat outside so this table setting was put on hold for our Sunday company.

I had to share this photo that I blatantly nabbed off my niece from facebook. This is my dad and oldest sister Kathy. They are celebrating their May birthdays today together at a family favorite restaurant in Montebello called Golden Skewers. Yum! My dad’s birthday was the 25th and my sister’s birthday was the 23rd. Wish I could have been there with them but I’m happy to have this photo I could steal to see their celebration! They both look fabulous for their perspective ages! My dad is now officially 90!

What a nice feeling to know we still have one full day left with nothing on the schedule. Wonder what projects we’ll come up with for the observed Memorial Day on Monday the 27th? What have you been up to?

A Time to Remember…

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to insure our freedom. Dear’s father Rex served in the army during WWII. He was not among the countless number who lost their lives during service but we are very grateful to all who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Our son in law Andrew is serving as a Marine and our appreciation grows daily for the all of the men and women who serve our country in the military. As we speak Andrew is involved in Fleet Week in New York. We hope our military are treated well on the streets of New York. I’m adding this link from Pat at Mille Fiori that she posted from Fleet Week and she captured two great shots of the ship our son-in-law Andrew is on, the U.S.S. Wasp. Semper Fi! And for the record from what we’ve heard from Andrew, New York has been very welcoming to our boys!

Dear’s father Rex’s service in 1985 was under a pavilion at the Riverside National Cemetery and we had never had a chance to visit his actual graveside. When we were at our nephew’s wedding last weekend we had a chance to visit the cemetery and find Rex’s graveside. We do not have a family tradition to spend time at gravesides as we hope in the fact that our loved ones are not here but with the Lord. It was still a good experience to finally see Rex’s gravestone.

The cemetery has a kiosk where you type in your loved ones name and they print out a site map on where you can find the graveside. We were impressed with how easy it was to find Rex’s buriel site. Here is a link to a post on the moving memorials featured at the Riverside National Cemetery.

Even though we know our loved one who is identified with Christ is not in this grave, it’s still gratifying to see what a peaceful setting his gravestone is situated in.

The whole time we were at the cemetery we kept looking up because there was an airshow at March Air Force Base which donated land for the Riverside National Cemetery and is adjacent to the cemetery.

After a hike and some good scouting by Dear and our daughter Katie we found Rex’s gravestone.

It really was good to finally see where Rex was buried. I was 7+ months pregnant with Katie for Rex’s funeral and a lot of this time was sketchy for me.

This was a very nice family time for us all in between all the fun celebration time with our extended family for our nephew’s/cousin’s wedding. While we were at the cemetery we had the wonderful experience to enjoy some amazing aerial views from an airshow at March Air Force Base.

From the cemetery we met up with extended family for lunch at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Moreno Valley. What a great weekend it was to connect with family and get a special weekend time with Katie from North Carolina.

I’m joining in with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Hope all of you in the U.S.A. have had a moment to stop and consider and appreciate the memory of those who have laid down their lives for us…

A very meaningful Memorial Day to all of you!

Riverside National Cemetery

When we were in Southern California for our nephews wedding we made a special trip to Riverside National Cemetery where Dear’s father was buried in October of 1985 just a couple months before our Katie was born. I’ll post more photos of our search for Rex’s grave on Monday. Today I’m sharing some very dramatic memorials from the cemetery for this Memorial Day Weekend.

Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments. It was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres from March Air Force Base, which during World War II was called the U.S. Army’s Camp William G. Haan. The cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials Nov. 11, 1978. An additional 181 acres was transferred by the Air Force in 2003.

The dramatic, meandering landscape features a central boulevard with memorial circles, lakes, indigenous-styled committal shelters, and a memorial amphitheater.

Riverside National cemetery is home of the Medal of Honor Memorial and one of four sites recognized as a National Medal of Honor Memorial Site. The Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients, is located at the third traffic circle in the cemetery. It was dedicated in 1999.

Walking up to the Medal of Honor Memorial you see each of the seals of the branches of service. Of course we have our favorite…

Several Medal Honor Recipients are buried at this cemetery.

The Fallen Soldier/Veterans’ Memorial, erected in 2000, is dedicated to all service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The dramatic bronze structure topped by a lifeless soldier is located near the lake at the entrance to the cemetery.

This and the POW/MIA Memorial were very moving…

The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial was designated as a national memorial by the U.S. Congress in 2004 through Public Law 108-454. The memorial was dedicated on September 16, 2005. Vietnam veteran Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., sculpted the bronze statue which depicts an American serviceman on his knees with hands bound by his captors. The statue is surrounded by black marble pillars that evoke imprisonment.

While we were at the cemetery we had an unexpected treat. See everyone looking up? March Air Force Base was hosting an air show this weekend and we got a wonderful view of the Patriots Jet Team.

I’ll be sharing a lot more photos of the Patriots later next week.

On Monday I’ll share more from our time at the cemetery.

We are going to go on a little adventure on Saturday morning before we hunker down to do some work around this old house. Hope your weekend is going well.