Day 54: Memorial Day

31 May

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance and was first observed in 1868 to honor the fallen from the American Civil War. Over the years it has become a day to honor all of those who have died in service to our nation. On this Memorial Day, it seemed only fitting to honor a veteran with a pie.

I decided today to recognize the man who was the keynote speaker at Ashland’s Memorial Day Observance: Vaughn Bornet. I first became acquainted with Vaughn and his wife through the Ashland Rotary. He is a veritable font of knowledge and his enthusiasm for history is rarely seen these days.

Our nation has been involved in many wars over our short history. Often the men and women who served in those wars were treated as heroes upon their return. However, when I was growing up, that was not the case for the young men that I knew who had fought in Vietnam. Not only did they have to fight in a dangerous jungle, but when they returned home they were not welcomed. I remember one young man from my church who had come home and was seated in the choir in his Army best only to hear our minister rally against the war. I did not blame him when he got up and left the service.

Thirty years later, when my nephew graduated high school he joined the Navy. I suppose that he thought it would be a safe way to serve our country and earn money for college. A few years later he was in a desert wearing army camouflage gear. Definitely not what he (or we) had anticipated. I thank God that he made it home safely.

Today, I want to honor the men and women who have fought for our freedom. And I pray that one day we find a way to resolve our conflicts without resorting to war.

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier

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