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Remembering
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Photo: Karin Lau
We Americans are grateful to the men and women who have bravely served our country. Yet too often we view Memorial Day as just a three-day weekend—the beginning of summer—the day fashion designers declare it’s okay to wear white.

Then there are Americans like Colonel David Daub. Now 89 years old, David served our country for 28 years. Memorial Day is full of memories for him—memories of fellow soldiers who were injured, of friends who came home in caskets, and of the day he nearly lost his own life.

“I was serving in the infantry as a communications officer in Italy,” David recently told me. “My team was setting up a radio relay when an unsuspected Tiger Tank came out of the woods. I remember it firing, but I don’t remember anything else. I didn’t know that a fragment from a steal shell had hit me in the side. Someone—I never found out who—picked me up and took me to a med station. When I woke up, a sweet looking nurse was looking down at me, asking, ‘Are you okay?’ Thankfully, I survived.”

When I asked David how he wished Americans would acknowledge Memorial Day, he answered, “I would like them to remember those who gave their lives. To remember the maimed. It would be nice if people visited local veterans or wrote them a thanks for all they’ve done. Most of all, I wish America’s children would be reminded that this holiday is a memorial for those who defended their country.”

Ways to Participate

To remember best, we need to participate. Here are a few ways you can get involved with your family, classroom, or church: 

1. Read about Memorial Day. Some books to look for at your local library are The Wall by Eve Bunting, Memorial Day Surprise, by Theresa Golding, and Memorial Day by Robert Nelson. You can also search online educational sites for kids.

2. Invite a Veteran. Many children have relatives or family friends who served and would willingly visit their school or church. Veterans have many stories to tell and souvenirs to show.

3. Visit or write to a Veteran. If you don’t personally know one, get names from your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or American Legion.

4. Adopt a soldier. If you don’t know any who are currently serving, you can adopt one through AdoptaPlatoon.org.

5. Make a craft. Some great web sites that carry patriotic crafts ideas are: EnchantedLearning.com, kidprintables.com and apples4theteacher.com.

6. Display a flag. “I don’t see many flags around any more,” David told me sadly. “There are only two in my large housing development.”

7. Attend a local event. Check with your Chamber of Commerce to see if your town is having a parade or other event.

 “Can I say one more thing?” David asked at the end of our conversation. “America must never forget by passing on the memory of our heroes to the younger generations.”

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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