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Montgomery Place honors military heroes, reflects on lessons to navigate COVID-19 period

Dear Friends and Family,

On this Memorial Day weekend, we celebrate the beginning of summer, warmer weather and picnics. But it also is a day of remembrance of the many individuals who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy in America. And in many cases, their lives not only protected the freedoms of our country but also the concepts of freedom and democracy around the world.

In the years when I was growing up, we called today “Decoration Day.” It was a day when as a family we visited many cemeteries and heard stories from our parents and grandparents about the many individuals who have gone before us, some lost during the wars. We brought flowers to decorate the graves, celebrating the life that each relative gave to us and future generations.

While there was sadness, it was balanced with a sense of belonging to a family who contributed to our society. I heard the story of one of my father’s cousins who was shot down over England, never to have a formal burial because his body was never found. I listened to the stories of several women who lost love because their men never returned home. Yet I knew how their lives still moved forward to marriage and family.

Interestingly, we seldom heard the stories of war itself. It was many years, if ever, when we heard about the experiences of battles won and lost, the challenges of our servicemen’s daily life on the frontline, on the bases and on the ships. Most men who returned had the desire to just move on and not look back. This seems to be a natural instinct to protect oneself, to place the hard times behind us and focus on moving into the days ahead.

Let us honor all those who have gone before us with the same determination they dedicated to surviving the challenges of life put before them. Talk about the good times! Share the stories and humor. Celebrate the past as well as our future.

On Memorial Day, please feel free to call my mobile phone number, 773-617-1317, at any time.

Remembering those who sacrificed for us inspires us to embrace our future.

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