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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Memorial Day Recipes To Help Make Memories

by Donna Hager
Old Glory Does Not Wave By Accident. Use These Memorial Day Recipes To Help Make Memories

My family and I know that "Old Glory" does not wave by accident. We have lost loved ones to war. Memorial Day is special.

Memorial Day is for remembering the sacrifices made by others - for us - for our continued freedom. But I believe the day should also be used to create new memories.

Having lost family to war, I believe I am able to put this particular holiday in perspective. It is a day, in fact an entire weekend, for us to accomplish two things: remembering and appreciating the ultimate sacrifice made by others and exercising those won freedoms in a way that creates fond memories with those we still have to love.

Memorial Day should certainly be more meaningful than simply a three day weekend or mini vacation. It is a sacred day of remembrance ...but it should also be a time for the living to celebrate each others company while time permits. I especially like to totally surround myself with family and friends on this day, or even on this entire weekend, to celebrate what we (still) have because of those who gave their lives.

Memorial Day was born out of the horror of war - first the Civil War - and now for all those who have departed as a result of war. The purpose of this holiday may seem to be fading from some peoples' consciousness. Is it now simply a three day vacation? Is it simply the unofficial start to summer and the barbecue season? Is it an excuse to go shopping since many businesses promote Memorial Day sales? Has the original meaning of the day been lost?

My family and I know that "Old Glory" does not continue to wave by accident. We take time throughout the Memorial Day weekend to remember the fallen. We go to the cemetaries and place the flags. Old Glory flies at half mast at home. We tell stories, some sad - some happy, about those that cannot be at our family party. We remember them with reverence.

We also remember my first husband's last words as his Cobra helicopter was on fire and about to explode: "Tell my family I love them. Tell them to live for me."

So ...my family and I celebrate our freedom - and life. We live our lives together. We do this best by being together and enjoying great recipes and the food they create.

One of the things my family and I do is talk about how to support our troops today. We put together a "care package" or two or three or four. We send the packages to soldiers somewhere in this world. We don't care where they are stationed or what branch of the service they serve.

As one soldier wrote recently, "All soldiers need the simple knowledge of one thing...someone must want them to come home. If a soldier has that...they may be able to make it through anything!!!!"

After the package(s) are wrapped and sent, we do as ordered by our missing loved ones - we celebrate with food and beverage and memories - and we create new memories to be enjoyed forever (see link below). What a gift they have given us!

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