We were watching the news last night and a story came on about Memorial Day and the fact that so many people have no idea what the day is actually about. There were about ten people interviewed and when asked what Memorial Day was, not one could answer. Of course everyone knew it was a free day off of work and the first 3-day weekend of the year, but not the true reason for such a holiday.
Apparently I am an exception to the rule, but I have always been raised to know the meaning of memorial day. I have been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary #537 since I was 12 years old. My grandparents took me and my cousin Joe to the beaches of Normandy the summer of 1994 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I hang a picture of my grandfather in his army uniform on the wall of my cubicle - proudly displayed for all the world to see.
Grandpa Helle is one of the neatest guys you will ever meet. He has story upon story about his life in Patton's Third Army. While never boastful, he will tell anyone who asks about his experience in the Battle of the Bulge and the bullet still lodged in his side to act as a constant reminder of God's grace. In 2005 he travelled with friends to Washington DC to see the new WWII memorial and was interviewed by a reporter from Virgina Living magazine who could see in his face that this was a man with a story to tell.
I could go on and on about the hardest working man I have ever known, but he would rather I talked about something else. So as a tribute to grandpa, here is a picture of him with JJ at their first meeting.