The United States Army. The Marine Corps. The Navy. The Coast Guard. The Air Force. These five branches of the military are comprised of courageous men and women who serve our country daily. They could be your son/daughter, sister/brother, a parent/grandparent, a neighbor, or a complete stranger. Regardless, they are the individuals who take an oath to protect us, our homes, and the lives we have grown accustomed to, while sometimes giving up their own. Each year, we honor these fallen men and women on Memorial Day.
Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died during that time period. Originally referred to as “Decoration Day”, as it was common practice to decorate soldiers’ graves with flowers, the name gradually changed to Memorial Day after World War II and was extended to include all Americans who have died while in service. Today, many people visit cemeteries and memorial sites to show their thanks and gratitude for departed military members. Others volunteer to place an American flag on grave markers in national cemeteries. Current and former Veterans march in local parades to represent their late peers. However one chooses to recognize this national holiday, it is truly a time for reflection.
We recently heard from Ron Denbow, a Vietnam Veteran and Manager with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in Medina, OH, who took time to explain what the day means to him.
Ron entered the military in 1970 immediately after college, He served in active combat in Quang Ngai and in the Quang Tri Province in Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division "Americal" based out of Chu Lai.
Upon returning to the States and working briefly in manufacturing and construction, Ron decided to pursue a real estate career. Understandably, he has a passion for helping military Veterans and their families through his support for the Fisher House in Cleveland: www.greaterclevelandfisherhouse.org/
But this weekend is special. Ron honors the memory of friends and other soldiers privately or participating (sometimes with his grandchildren) in the local Memorial Day activities and attending events at the VA National Cemetery in Rittman, OH.
However, Ron doesn’t want the focus to be on him. But the reality is when you look at Memorial Day from Ron’s eyes, we all get a different view of what the holiday really stands for. It is truly about the fallen military members and their families.
“We didn’t do it for the money, the glory, the benefits or the recognition,” he said. “We just served to the best of our abilities when the country called upon us to do so.”
Thank you Ron for allowing all of us to take an extra moment to honor the men and women who have served and died in the line of duty. We will do our duty to keep your memories alive.