There is a reason I am passionate about the US Military!

I think for years people lost the meaning of Memorial Day. It was just a long weekend filled with BBQ, beaches and relaxation. Any excuse to have a day off from work and school was a good excuse, right? Not for me. I never lost sight of what the day means, and I am very happy to see that over the past few years people are taking time out of their holiday weekend to remember and honor those who proudly served in the US military.

Growing up I was a member of the Patriots Trail Girl Scouts for 13 years. {There were only about half a dozen of us in the end, but we were proud to be Girl Scouts.} Every year on Memorial Day my hometown of Holliston would have a parade honoring those who served in the United States military. All of the town’s Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts would march through town along with members of the VFW, American Legion, police and fire departments. For 3 years, I got to carry the American flag for the Holliston Girl Scouts. An honor I took much pride in! Walking through the town, the streets would be lined with residents young and old. As we would walk past the older generation; WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam veterans, the former soldiers would doff their caps to Old Glory and watch her ambling through the streets of a small town while remembering what she meant to them all those many years ago. We would smile and wave, and then once everyone was at the town hall, there would be a beautiful ceremony honoring all the men and women who had served in the US Armed Forces.

I come from a long line of military people dating back to the US Civil war on my father’s side of my family. My great-great grandfather, William C. Griffin, came to America when he was 16 years old from Ireland in 1860. He was given work and treated very well in Boston. {Something that was unusual for an Irish immigrant back in the day.} A year after living in America, William wanted to join the US Army when the Civil War broke out. He went to the recruiters in Massachusetts but told he was too young. {You had to be 18 to join the Army, and William was just 17 at the time.} So across the border to New Hampshire William went, with an altered birth certificate, and proudly joined the young United States Army fighting out of NH. He fought for the North, and marched all the way down to Florida and back with his division. William was very lucky he made it home as many of his friends and fellow soldiers were not as fortunate. After the war, William came home to Massachusetts and settled down roots, and thus my Griffin roots have stayed in America.

*SIDE NOTE: My mother’s side of my family arrived in Boston in 1680. I do not know the history on that side when it comes to military, but knowing the little that I do, I am going to assume, they were also active military. I really do have to find this out, because I don’t want my family’s history to get lost forever!

For generations, my family has fought to defend the freedom of all Americans. I am extremely thankful for their service and am proud to say that I am a military daughter, granddaughter, niece,etc. The older I get, the more I value the sacrifices the United States soldiers have made for me. Seeing how women get treated in other countries; seeing the rights, or lack there of, of women in other countries makes me VERY thankful to everyone who has ever served in the United States Armed Forces! I have taught my daughter throughout her young life that a “hero” is not someone who caught the winning touchdown, drove in the winning run or sang the best on TV. A true hero is someone who put their life on the line, to defend ours. Anyone who has served in the military as well as fire fighters and police officers, are the TRUE AMERICAN HEROES!

To all my friends who have served in the United States Military….THANK YOU! For the men and women who put their lives on the line, and never returned home….may you Rest In Peace knowing there are generations to come who are very thankful for your ultimate sacrifice! For the men and women who are serving now, THANK YOU and may God Bless you and keep you safe!

So, on this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to look around at all life has given you. Be thankful to the TRUE American heroes, and say a prayer that those still serving make it home. You do not have to agree with war, but you do have to respect the people who fight in it. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and all the Reserves who have ever fought to defend America….THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!

VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO: my grandfather Warren C. Griffin {RIP}, United States Army, WWII, my grandfather Philip J. Doherty {RIP}, United States Navy, WWII, my father Warren C. Griffin Jr, United States Marine Corps, Viet Nam and my uncle Sean T. Griffin, United States Marine Corps, Viet Nam.

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