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May 2012

Public Service Announcement: Today is Memorial Day and Memorial Day is not Veterans Day

In Memory of Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle

I do believe in our zest to show rightfully show appreciation to our service members, we have blurred Veterans Day with Memorial Day, thus not showing proper reverence on this solemn day of remembrance.

Here is one of the FAQs (frequently asked questions) from the Department of Veterans Affairs:

Q. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

A. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

Let’s live in appreciation of the service of our men and women every day whether they are living or deceased or made the ultimate sacrifice while in service or transitioned through other means. For those service members who lost their lives while in service to our country, today is their day, let’s honor them accordingly.


Photo:  2012 Election Central


Related links:

Memorial Day

South Florida veterans: Memorial Day is a day to mourn, not celebrate


Throwback Thursday: A Tribute to My Favorite Aunt

Since the original posted too early, no sweat, I just changed the title.

I am traveling to the Florida Panhandle for the funeral of my favorite aunt, Bertha Smith. I have dreaded this moment for several months. As her health deteriorated, we knew this day was near.
Letting go of loved ones due to death is difficult. We selfishly want them to live eternally in this life but that can never be. My aunt endured pain during her illness. I love her more than I wanted her to suffer so I had to embrace the freedom she realized through her transition.
Funerals are typically sad and happy occasions. Sad because of the physical loss of a loved one and happy because distant relatives and friends are reunited again.
I am going to miss Aunt Bert. She was a fiercely independent woman who let nothing and no one stand in her way if she wanted to get something done.
When I was a young child in the 1960's before integration in our hometown, Aunt Bert would take my cousin Debra and I to the movie theater. We lived in a small town; there was only one theater. Blacks sat in the balcony and whites sat on the main floor.
Sometimes there were minor disturbances at the theater but I was never afraid when going to the theater with Aunt Bert. She usually had two things with her --- a fried fish sandwich and her pistol. The aroma of Aunt Bert's fish sandwich and popcorn and watching that huge movie screen are some of my favorite childhood memories.
Aunt Bert had that pioneer - warrior woman spirit. She was kind but didn't allow anyone to take advantage of her. During her senior years she and Debra practically rebuilt their house themselves. They didn't do the electrical work but they did some of the plumbing and everything else. I love that about her.
I also loved that she could sew and she could really cook. Aunt Bert preferred to make her sewing patterns using newspaper or a paper bag. I don't know of anyone in the family today that is a seamstress or tailor. She also cooked old school style with no written recipes, just her memory. It was no secret that I loved Aunt Bert's homemade biscuits and would shamelessly ask her to make a pan for me to take back to South Florida. I am going to miss that woman.
Aunt Bert's transition means the rest of the family must readjust our lives. She is no longer with us in the natural but she is still with us and within us. Aunt Bert nurtured me, protected me, advised me and most of all she loved me.
Thank you, Aunt Bert. I love you. Rest in Peace.

Everyday is Mother's Day

MamasdaycardHappy Mother’s Day to all women who are birth mothers, adopted mothers and aunts, sisters or guardian angels protecting and nurturing others. Rather than waiting for this particular day to show your love and appreciation for these women, do it every chance you get. 

I’m one of those people who prefers to leave christmas decorations up all year long because I believe everyday is Christmas. I feel the same about Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and many of the other commercialized holidays that have manipulated us down through the years. Today, like many others, I miss my mother and my daughter who have already transitioned. I am extremely grateful for the phone calls and messages from friends, relatives and the “children” I have unofficially adopted along the way.

If your mother is still here in the natural and you can visit her, please do. If distance is a problem, please call her. Do it today and everyday you can. Everyday is a holiday.