Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia

Honor & Memorial Day

A couple of years ago the girls had to make a video for school. I don’t remember the class they were taking-maybe history? Anyway, the video was to honor those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States.

The girls found most of the photos they used online via the Library of Congress, the rest of the photos came from my personal collection. At the time the girls were making the video, Paul was laying down tracks for his and Pap’s Songs of Christmas cd. We were all mesmerized by the music he came up with for the traditional Christmas carol We Three Kings.

Somehow the girls realized the music fit the photo video they were compiling perfectly so they used it for the soundtrack to their video.

Even though I’ve watched the video at least a hundred times, it still pulls at my heart strings. Of course I have no idea who most of the people are. Many of the unknown faces seem to look deep into your soul.

Then there’s the photos I do recognize: Pap in his Marine Dress Blues; Papaw Tony hamming it up with his buddies; Uncle Henry standing somewhere in Vietnam; LC looking so unbelievably young and handsome; JC giving out the same easy smile he has today; Harvey looking way to young to have been in uniform; the Ace of Spades someone stuck in the moving wall memorial when it was in Murphy for a fallen Marine; and the copy of the telegram Miles H. Nelson’s mother received notifying her of his death also left at the moving wall memorial when it visited Murphy.

Our minds typically go to the ultimate sacrifice given by those who serve on Memorial Day as it should, but every person who serves sacrifices in some manner for the good of the country as do their families.

Pap was drafted and he ended up being a Marine because his last name was at the end of the alphabet. He has fond memories of his time served, that’s where he really began to play the guitar in a more serious manner. He also has memories of tough times during his service. Pap had Malaria during his time spent in South America and still credits a quick thinking Navy Corpsman with saving his life.

Although Pap was on hazardous duty he did not fight in any skirmishes or wars and he’ll be the first to tell you those who did are the ones who deserve the honor and praise.

Pap’s service was before Vietnam and after Korea. There was some sort of unrest going on at the time of his discharge and the big day was put off for a year. Pap said at the time he thought nothing had ever been so unfair in his whole life. He was all set to get back to the real world and home, then he was forced to stay.

All these years later he counts that extra time as God looking out for his future because it ensured his health care would be taken care of by the VA. Pap has used that as a learning lesson for me more than once. Sometimes even things that are really tough on you will turnout to be a blessing years down the road.

I am beyond thankful to all who’ve sacrificed serving in the Armed Forces of The United States of America.


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  • Reply
    F Horne
    May 27, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Tipper, just today I watched the video and it meant so much to me…the girls did an excellent job! I have great repect for our men and women that sacrifice their time and lives to help protect us in America. My dad was a soldier during WW11 and landed at Normandy on ‘D-Day’, then pushed on thru Europe. I served in the Navy in Vietnam ’66 thru ’68 and it was an experience I will never forget and would gladly do again. Thanks Again and a great Memorial Day to all, especially our Vets!

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    May 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Beautiful video, heart rending memories but beautiful!!!
    The saying goes, “Once a Marine always a Marine!”
    And it’s true, the training never leaves you. So from this former Marine (1969-72) SEMPER FI to Pap and all other Marines, with heart felt thanks for all who donned a US military uniform to stand in the gap to serve and protect others.
    On this day, let us remember them all, along with their loved ones.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Robert Wasmer
    May 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for posting this on Memorial Day. We really need to remember that freedom isn’t free, and many have answered the call to serve their country in difficult times in the past. Many came home safely, some came home physically uninjured but forever injured emotionally, some minus limbs, and emotionally unable to cope, and others never came home at all. We hold all their memories dear.
    Several songs always come to mind on Memorial Day: “Looking For A Soldier’s Grave”, “More Than A Name On A Wall”, and “A Faded Coat Of Blue” to name three.
    Robert Wasmer
    Son of Pct. Carl A. Divine
    Killed In Action, Nov. 25,1944
    (I was only 3 years old)
    Buried in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium.

  • Reply
    allison britt
    May 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    A very fitting Memorial Day tribute to our U.S. Armed Forces.
    As always you provide very fitting music, and life lessons to go along with the post…making it even more thought provoking.
    Thankful for a day of reflection, including some of your past and recent posts. Blessings to you as your Pap recovers and as you think on your lot in life that has brought you satisfaction. I love that thread of Peace that often runs through your writing.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I love the video! Thanks Chitter
    and Chatter, and Paul with all the
    special music that fits so well.
    And a Special Thanks to all the
    sons and daughters who made our
    Freedom possible. They belong to
    All of us…Ken

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    May 25, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the wonderful job you all did at the festival in Blairsville last Saturday. It seems every time I hear those girls I can’t believe how good they sound. That fiddle is sounding better and better. We will be looking forward to seeing and hearing you Friday night.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 9:43 am

    This slide show tugged at my heart. It reminded me of my dad and my fathers-in-law who fought in World War II.One of my fathers-in-law fought in Korea. The music fits the slide show perfectly! Thank you for this!

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    May 25, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Yes, Thank you for your kind words about our veterans. My husband served 21 + years protecting our country. He was with the guided missles which protect the big cities and bases in the USA and over seas.Thanks to all who still serve in this trying time to keep us free. God Bless All.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I love the history that is so much a part of what you share. When you talk to Pap’s and other people that have lived long lives I feel like I can almost hear them tell their story. Thanks. I also thank you for writing such a nice tribute to our Military today!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 25, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Quite touching. May we never forget.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 8:58 am

    How can we ever repay all the brave men and women who left their family and fought for our freedom so we didn’t have to? The least we can do is provide them with the very best health care for the rest of their life.

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    May 25, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Rest easy, sleep well, my brothers.
    Know the line has held, your job is done.
    Rest easy, sleep well.
    Others have taken up where you fell; the line has held.
    Peace, peace, and farewell.
    ̶̶ ̶̶ Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 7:54 am

    We as a Nation have certainly been blessed with good Men and Women who were willing to go and put their life in harms way, and are still going today, and those who gave their life we remember today.. God Bless America..

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 25, 2015 at 7:38 am

    On this Memorial Day when our hearts are somber, remembering the sacrifices paid for our freedoms, the Pressley Girl’s Memorial Day video set the stage for reflection and gratitude, as did Paul’s music (well-performed, well-chosen, minor key–perfect for the Memorial Day tribute). Freedom should never be taken for granted. May we remember and bow our heads and hearts in gratitude.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Thank for your kind words for the veterans. My husband served thirty-one years. He will always admit that it did him a world of good, made a good man out of him he would always tell me. It was a sacrifice of time for his family, but I am glad that he felt his need to protect our country and our rights and freedoms. May God bless the men and women out there protecting us.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 25, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Yes, gratitude to all who have served to keep us free!!!

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