It is Memorial Day Weekend, a time when many of us host BBQs and spent time with family and friends, but the purpose of this holiday is to pause and reflect on the many service members who lost their lives in service to this country. As a military family, we live with these loses every day and its our privilege to live each day to the fullest in honor of these men and women.
On Memorial Day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. In the past we have had many chances to visit these places of honor but at ceremonies and quietly as a family.
I have always loved museums and George (and Jamie) have learned to “love” them for me. Some of our favorite activities when we would move to a new duty station was to explore the museums on post, many which offered a tribute to a specific group of Soldiers. We have explored some really unique military museums, both at military installations and at cities across the country.
Jamie really enjoys going to the parks that have military vehicles on display. I knows boys like trucks, but through about Pre-K 4, these really were great because I could let him run around and burn off energy and we read the plaques to learn what the vehicle’s job was and other interesting information. I have to say, my dad is in his 60’s and still gets excited to walk around and read the plaques and he and George will talk about the engines and all sorts of other mechanical stuff.
One of our favorites was at Warrior Park in Fort Polk, Louisiana. (It’s the same location as the video I shared on Facebook today.)
We were stationed there for a little more than 5 years, though Jamie was not born until after we left. It’s only a few hours drive from Houston, so sometimes we’d go there to get supplies or visit friends when George moved from Active Duty to the Reserves.
The collection of vehicles spanned from work vehicles, to cargo and caravan vehicles and actual armored vehicles. He loved it.
I grew up visiting the local Fletcher-class destroyer USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on school trips. My dad has always been a huge history buff, so after getting married and entering military life, his visits often entailed visiting some local military historical museum. As a family, we have visited (among others) Battleship Texas, located outside of Houston. Texas and Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas, home of the WWII submarine, the USS Cavalla, one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart and the remains of the tanker S.S. Selma, the largest concrete ship constructed.
Over the years we have been to a variety of museums and I can’t wait to share them with you. Its always great to be able to walk where history was made and places like Gettysburg, The Alamo and Fort Sumter are popular because of the preservation of their history.
We hope you and your family have a safe Memorial Day, and will be encouraged to explore your local community’s veteran history.