We were originally planning to leave for our cruise on the evening of Monday immediately prior to our Friday launch date (as I mentioned in my earlier post), but we made the important discovery that the weekend included Memorial Day, so my friend was blessed with a four-day weekend from work.
I will be forever thankful twice over, now, for the sacrifices made so that I might have comfort and freedom in this country… this added time meant that we would have the opportunity to stop a couple of places along the way, to see a little bit of what they had protected.
Our original plan involved not sleeping in a bed anywhere between the Mississippi river and Puget Sound. Our new plan allowed for us to leave home early Saturday morning and rest two nights in western Nebraska before heading upward and onward. It also allowed me to pay my respects to a representative few of those who gave that Last Full Measure of Devotion: our hosts for the weekend were retired military personnel who had been asked to participate in an early Memorial Day ceremony near their home. They invited all of us to go along. The boys were inclined to mow the lawn and otherwise sit back and relax. My friend had studying to do.
I accepted the invitation.
|At the church cemetery for Berea Lutheran Church, near Chapell, NE.|
I was not disappointed. The day was lovely, with a strong breeze lifting the flag proudly, and carrying voices up and outward to the fields. Our hostess gave a thoughtful speech encouraging family and friends of veterans to ask questions, ask for stories of service from their loved ones, before those stories are lost.
When the service was done, we returned home to relax and enjoy each other's company for the rest of the day.
|Day is done|
Here's the video I took of our hostess delivering her speech: