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Masonic News & Views - Memory-all Day
May 26, 2014
I received official confirmation recently that I am indeed the King of my domain. The Lady BG told me so.
We were outside working in the yard and I stood on the fly-bridge between the house and garage with a commanding view of the CowChows. I raised my hands to the heavens and cried out, "I am King of my domain!"
And, from somewhere down below her melodic voice came back, "Only if your domain is procrastination. Get back to work." So there it is. I am King of the nation Procrasti.
As my first act as sovereign ruler I commanded that one of my subjects travel into town to retrieve a United States flag to be flown on this Memorial Day. She didn't want to go; so I went myself. Unfortunately, it was late in the evening when I returned. So, first thing this morning I began the project of erecting a flag pole and hanging our new "Old Glory" on the front deck.
I was on my knees, surrounded by hammer, drill-driver, screws, nails, and all the sundry tools and gadgets that seem to migrate to wherever I'm working. The pole was mounted and the flag was hung, and it all looked wonderfully patriotic.I was just adding a few more screws to the pole mounting to insure against the blustery afternoon winds we get this time of year when I suddenly felt the weight of someone's gaze upon me. I looked up, and there at the end of the drive peering out from behind a camellia bush was Focus, the little boy from next door. I waved and called, "Hi Focus."
"Hi," he piped back and gave a small wave of his own.
"Come on up, if you like."
And he did.
"What are you up to today?" I asked as he gained the final step onto the deck.
"Mmmm, not much," he shrugged. "We're gonna go have hotdogs on the beach later."
"Ah, a picnic on the beach for Memorial Day. That's a nice tradition."
"I guess," he said with another shrug.
"Don't you like Memorial Day?"
"Oh, but it's much more than okay, Focus. It's a very important day in America. It's the day when every true American takes time to honor and appreciate the sacrifice of our fallen heroes."
"But, why? And, why don't they get back up?"
"Well, why are they fallin' and why don't they just get back up?" he asked seriously. "When I fall down," and he slouched in a pretend fall, "I just get up," and he stood up again, "and shake it off," and he slapped his little hands together as if to dust them off, "and keep on goin,'" he concluded."
"Oh," I said. "Well, in this case, Focus, the word 'fallen' has a different meaning. It means they died while serving our country as soldiers, so they can't get back up."
"Oh," he said and looked quickly away.
"It's okay, Focus. You didn't know. Do you see now why Memorial Day is such an important day as we honor and remember those soldiers who fought and died for our country?"
He looked back to me and said, "Yeah, I see Mr. Tim. Except..."
"What is it Focus?"
"Well, I don't think we know any dead soldiers to honor and 'member."
"Why, that's even better, Focus. You can honor all those who served before by thanking those who serve now."
"Huh?" he said as he cocked his little head to the side.
"Sure," I said. "Whenever you see a soldier in town, and if it's okay with your Mom, just go up to them and say 'Thank you for your service to our country.' That way you'll be doing something nice for that soldier, and honoring all those who have gone before by appreciating their sacrifice."
He considered this for a few moments and then his dark hair bobbed and his face broke into a broad smile. And just then, a gust of wind kicked up and set the flag to waving. He watched it for another few moments and then said, "Nice flag, Mr Tim."
It's almost done," I told him. "There's just one more thing to do. Would you like to join me?"
"Join you doin' what?" he asked as I stood at attention and placed my right hand over my heart. And then his face brightened, and he came and stood beside me. He placed his tiny hand over his heart and we began, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
As we finished, the sound of Focus' Mom's searching voice reached out and called him home. He turned to me, gave me a big smile and said, "Happy Memory-all Day, Mr. Tim."
He raced across the deck and squeezed through a gap in the fence that I hadn't realized was there. As I turned to gather up my tools his voice rang out as he called, "Mom, can we go find some soldiers?"
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