My wife and I purchased a home in Moorestown, New Jersey, some 19 years ago. Our two sons were very small, we had a big Labrador Retriever, and it seemed like a good value. It turned out to be the kind of place where each kid had his own bedroom. The grade school was walking distance. It sits at the end of a cul-de-sac in a hidden part of town, and it is, frankly, one of the best decisions we ever made.
That is due in part to the fact that our backyard is Memorial Field, an expanse of turf that is home to some 6 baseball diamonds, 5-6 soccer fields and it spills out into another park that follows Strawbridge Lake as it heads toward a river, eventually flowing into the Delaware. We loved the fact that there was ample room to walk the dog, and the boys had a built-in playground just through the gate in our wooden fence that surrounds our property. This morning I walked our newest dog, Mick (the Lab - Elvis - departed this world more than a decade ago), around it this morning. There is a long double-driveway on the opposite side of the park from our house, and between the drives is a grassy median where a monument and a garden greet folks as they drive in.
Every Memorial Day there is a service at the monument, honoring those who have given their lives for our nation. Men and women from Moorestown who represented the community in the military are especially given tribute, but the service includes all those who have perished and all those who have served. I often think of my family members (my Uncle Bill was a turret gunner in a B-17 and flew some 30 missions over Nazi Germany in WW II) who wore a uniform and put their lives on the line. My neighbor was discharged, honorably, from the army some 20 years ago. Another neighbor is a retired Air Force pilot. Memorial Field is a daily reminder as I look out our back porch that I am lucky and blessed to live in the USA.
The USA, a republic that is divided more now than at any time in my lifetime, is still a nation of laws, a nation of decent people and a nation that honors its heroes. I don’t consider athletes and showbiz types heroes. I DO consider people who serve their country to be heroes, and that includes military, police, fire fighters, first-responders of all kinds (including medical professionals), and I am indebted to these people more than I could possibly acknowledge in a short blog.
Happy Memorial Day! I hope you all have a wonderful summer! We are living in a difficult time for our nation, but our service people continue to do great things. I humbly offer them thanks.
I kick off SUMMER 2014 in Marlton, New Jersey, May 30-31! Tickets here