My Grand Soldier! ©

Yesterday, as I write this, was our family’s Memorial Day celebration at the farm. We had a fantastic time together as we always do but my wife always seems to make it special somehow.

Even though it rained off and on most of the day, she’d arranged for an indoor picnic. She served dinner on a newly bought red and white checkered tablecloth so it would seem like a “Picnic” even though it was on the dining room table.

The food was great: BBQ’d chicken that I had grilled along with hot dogs and corn on the cob that I had shucked out in the rain a bit earlier while the boys were doing some mudslides on their mini bike. And she even got colored popsicles for the kid’s desert.

But there was one moment earlier in the day that overshadowed all the rest to me. I was reminded of it first thing this morning as I opened a Facebook page my daughter in law had sent out: it was a picture of my grandson, Josh, and me putting up the Memorial Day flag. I hope you can take moment or two to go to to see the picture. It looks like he’s putting up the flag with the intensity of our marines at Iwo Jima. This photo won’t replace the iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima, in World War II but to this grandfather it’s pretty special!


Earlier in the day I had been a bit frustrated at not finding the flag from last year. I think it was disposed of along with the rusting pole that came with it. So I went to town and bought a new flag that came with a wooden pole and a rust-proof bracket so I won’t have to face that again on the 4th or next year.

When I brought it home, Josh’s parents were just pulling into the drive ahead of me. We unpacked the bags and then went out on the front porch together to mount the new flag. I got to show him how to drill holes for the screws and how to use the power screwdriver to mount the bracket, so it was a real learning moment in more ways than one. And then, the raising of the flag together! I hope you get to see the picture!

Then, first thing this morning, I got to hear excerpts of the President’s speech yesterday as he laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery . I was so moved as it brought back memories of when I got to lay a wreath there as well on our senior high school trip in 1961! I’ve been back several times since then and it never ceases to bring me to tears of gratefulness for all those who have gone before us to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

If you ever get a chance to go to Arlington to see the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, by all means go … won’t be the same afterward.

Hope you remembered all those who sacrificed for us so we could celebrate our freedom in peace and prosperity again this year.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

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