One of my most meaningful weekends

One of my most meaningful weekends

On this Memorial Day, in keeping with my WWII posts, I thought I’d recognize the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. During the weekend of May 28-31, 2004, thousands of WWII veterans gathered in the nation’s capital to see their very special memorial that was long overdue. The weekend was a very special for my wife, Kate, and me. We took my mom and dad — Dad was a World War II Army veteran — to the commemoration, and had one of the most meaningful weekends of our lives. We took the train from Boston to re-create the “rides on the rails” that so many WWII vets took during the war years. When we arrived, we were awestruck by both the grandeur and the simplicity of the memorial, which sits on the Mall in the shadow of the Washington Monument. My dad had the time of his life there — he started off just drinking in the entire experience, and as the weekend wore on, he wound up talking to dozens of veterans from across the country. He (and we) cried at the beauty of the memorial and called it a “sacred place.” We “closed the Memorial” each night, leaving at midnight when the lights went out. I lost my dad in January of 2009, and miss him every day — but I’ll be forever thankful that we had that weekend at the WWII Memorial in 2004. If you haven’t seen the WWII Memorial, by all means, plan to do so — and plan to really spend some time there. It’s the only way you can truly remember the sacrifices and the achievements of our WWII veterans. Wherever you are today, I hope you get a chance to attend a service, visit a cemetery, or remember a veteran of any era in your own special way.