Memorial Day

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Early Monday morning Mrs. Green looked out the back door. Carson was swinging on the hammock by the stream. She fixed up a cup of hot cocoa and walked out to greet him. Carson didn’t hear her coming across the wet grass. She stood and looked at him. Carson was miles away in thought. She walked around the tree and stood beside him next to the hammock. She handed him the hot chocolate and looked off in the same direction at the clear blue sky that was captivating his attention.

Carson looked up at her. “Today is Memorial Day.”

“That’s right.” Mrs. Green was always looking for a teachable moment with Carson. “So what is memorial Day Carson?”

Carson looked up with one eye shut and the other squinting into the morning sun. He turned his head and studied Mrs. Green’s face. “It’s the day we remember.” Carson seemed a bit surprised that he had to explain this to Mrs. Green.

Mrs. Green kept digging. “But Carson, you have never gone to war, or had a parent go to war or even had a friend in the military. How do you remember something you have never experienced?”

Carson stood up from the hammock and walked back and forth in front of the stream. “I remember the stories I’ve been told and the stuff I have read. I remember reading about soldiers saving each other during wars, and people going far away from home when they really didn’t want to but they did it because they knew they ought to. There are lots of people who died. Cemeteries full of people. There are lots of people who considered it their duty to take care of us and stand guard and protect America. It’s my history and it’s your history too, you aught to know about this stuff Mrs. Green.” Carson pulled a small American flag out of his back pocket. He handed it to Mrs. Green. “It’s your job to remember even if you weren’t there.”

Mrs. Green smiled at Carson and gave him a big hug. They stood by the stream and looked off into the distance for a long, long time. The teaching moment was over, and what was left were two friends remembering.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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