Honoring the Sacrifice of our Fallen

Joe grandma flagGive a warm welcome to my special guest Marin Auth, an eighth graders from St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Medina, Ohio. Marin wrote an essay sharing her thoughts about Memorial Day.

Marin is 14 years old. She will be attending Walsh Jesuit High School in the fall. She enjoys playing soccer and basketball. Marin is active in National Junior Honor Society, Drama Club, and Math Club. Her art has been exhibited in the Medina Community Center. Marin’s grandfather, Stan, fought in WWII. She honors him and all soldiers, sailors, and Marines with her essay.

Her essay in part reads:

Memorial Day is a truly important day recognizing and honoring all those brave souls that went and fought for freedom and didn’t come back. To become a soldier, you have to have incredible physical and mental strength.

Every soldier makes sacrifices to defend our county. They leave their families, friends, and everything they once knew.  They will give up their life in a split second.  We must remember all of those that had the courage to fight for our country and didn’t make it back.  They are the ultimate definition of sacrifice.

This day is for all those who endured the sweat, grit, dirt, grime, and know firsthand the horrific events of war. This day is for all those who rebuilt towns, villages, hopes, and dreams. This day is for all those soldiers who died fighting for the freedom we take for granted today. This day is for ALL those soldiers who DIED defending our country. We are forever grateful to them, and owe a debt of gratitude.

Marin, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Please join me in a National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day, at 3PM local time. Carmella Laspada, the founder of No Greater Love, asks us all to pause and remember our American heroes. We owe our American way of life to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

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Eighth Graders Write About Veterans

a7fb87ca8d25424bbdc2584a228793e1453d7e6c_500Give a warm welcome to my special guests Caroline, Isabel, and Justin, eighth graders from St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Medina, Ohio. These students wrote essays sharing what Veteran’s Day means to them.

Caroline Baker loves music, art, playing the piano, and spending time with her family. Her classmate, Isabel Cooper is a member of the Drama Club, Student Council, and Future Teachers of America. Isabel enjoys writing, music, spending time with her family as well as playing volleyball for the school CYO team.

Their current Student Council President, Justin Austin describes himself as “a fun-loving student who is actively involved in my school community.” Besides being a Student School Ambassador, Justin participates in the Power of the Pen, Math Club, Drama Club, and National Junior Honor Society. Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer and being active in Boy Scouts.

Caroline speaks for all the students,” I cannot thank veterans or those currently serving enough. My classmates and I truly appreciate all that you do. Thank you!”

Their teacher, Mary Anne Mayer is co-editor and wrote the chapter, “The Year Our Children Went to War,” in Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War.

Caroline wrote an essay about her grandfather entitled the “Bravest Volunteer.” The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is what completely persuaded my grandfather and the men he worked with to volunteer to join the Army. He received nine bronze stars serving in invasions during WWII all over the world.

 My grandfather watched men fall all around him, not having time to look back. He was too busy laying down wire to communicate through radio. His job was vital to having an advantage, so that the plans during battle would be understood more clearly.

It is one thing to celebrate Veteran’s Day, and another to know what it means. Although my grandfather is deceased, my family and I have not forgotten the incredible service, dedication, and sacrifice that he has given to our beautiful country. It is no mystery that the reason for our freedom is because of these extremely brave men and women that step forward to defend our nation.

 Isabel also wrote about her grandfather in “A Hero in my Heart.“ My grandfather enlisted in the Army when he was twenty-two years old. He wanted to join the Army, so that if war ever did break out, he could be trained to fight and be ready to go. He said, “ I joined the Army in case I was ever needed.”

 While he was in active duty for two years, my grandmother was at home thinking about what her fiancé was doing at the base. My grandmother told me a story of how my grandfather had given her a promise ring, showing how much he would be thinking of her while away. 

 After my grandfather was discharged from the Army, he married my grandmother, Lucille Kay, the love of his life, on August 16, 1958. This summer, they will be celebrating their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. He spent thirty-five years installing telephone poles, helping raise two kids, babysitting his grandkids, and spending six years serving our country. 

 That is what I think of when I think about my grandpa. He is a strong man for what he did in his life and I do not think he would be the same person he is today, if he had not been in the Army. 

 Now, I get to spend time with my grandfather every Sunday. I love my grandpa and the stories he tells, the way he laughs, and the funny dances he does when we are all sitting around the table. I love everything about my grandfather and the person that he is inside and out. This is why my grandfather is a hero in my heart.

 Unlike super heroes in the movies, a real hero is the person who puts their life on the line for others. Soldiers, sailors, Marines – these people are the real deal, observes Justin Austin in his essay “The Real Deal.”

 They go out and see the horrors of war. These brave and courageous souls walk through battle zones knowing that at any moment death could come to them. They know this, but they still go out into war to protect this wonderful nation so that we might call it home.

They fight so that we might keep the freedoms we are given as United States citizens. They fight to keep us safe from the evil our enemies try to inflict on us. They fight so that all of us can go to bed at night not having to worry about an attack on our homes. They fight so we can go about our lives in our usual manner. This is what our veterans so bravely do for us.

 If you ask them how they feel, most would respond by saying that they were just doing their job. Veterans are our superheroes, no matter how humbly they may object. They will always be my heroes and even if I can’t tell each of them personally, I will know it in my heart and mind. Thank you for teaching me what a superhero really is and for your service to this grateful nation. We are forever in your debt for your heroic acts.

 Caroline, Isabel, and Justin, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for honoring our veterans for their service.