Memorial Day 2019

 

Tech Sergeant Adrian Villa, 419th Fighter Wing places a flag with her daughter, Presley Wigman, at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Camp Williams, Utah.

This is the weekend, Memorial Day weekend, my family visits one of our local cemeteries and deliver flowers to the graves of veterans including a handwritten note of thanks from the kids in our 4H club. Others at EXAIR will join parades, watch parades, run a Memorial Day 10K, and gather with friends and family.

It is easy to enjoy the extra day off work and recognize how well we grilled those steaks or use the extra day to plant the garden, seal the deck, powerwash the walkway, hang out at the pool, have a beer and relax.

It is slightly harder to pay respects and/or recognize the sacrifice of our veterans who lost their lives in order for us to choose which of the above leisures we would like to enjoy. But, let me encourage us all to take a moment to look for and attend a ceremony, parade, or event focused upon these veterans. They deserve our recognition and respect.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, enjoy yourselves, love one another, and remember to remember our veterans who have lost their lives serving the United States of America.

Enjoy the weekend,

The EXAIR team

 

Thank you to Cynthia Griggs for the above image (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs).

 

Memorial Day 2018

Across the United States, we are gearing up for our traditional observance of Memorial Day, on Monday. A good many of us will be fortunate to enjoy an extra day off…EXAIR employees included; we’re closed Monday, May 28, for the holiday.

In the temperate climate of the mid-Atlantic region where I live, there’s going to be a LOT of landscaping and gardening going on. Those with swimming pools will be starting the chemical balancing game that, with any luck, they’ll win before Labor Day. As for me, my rest & relaxation game will be strong for most of the weekend.

Monday, though, my family and I will join many others from our community at our township’s Memorial Day parade. My son plays in the local High School Marching Band, and they will be leading it out with a grand display of brass and winds and drums and color guard and patriotic musical selections. Volunteers from a vintage military aviation museum at our local airport will conduct a “fly-over” that never disappoints. Members of other civic-minded groups will likewise join the parade. And we’ll all take time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation.

Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I join the rest of the EXAIR team in wishing for you a perfect blend of rest, relaxation, productivity…and remembrance.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day 2017

We’re in the home stretch now…mere hours away from Memorial Day weekend, or, as I call it, the Official Start Of Summer™.  EXAIR Corporation will be closed on Monday for this occasion. To make good use of this time off, I have three cookouts planned: one at the neighbors’, one at the in-laws’, and the third is self-inflicted.

As much as I like my neighbors and my in-laws (really,) I’m expecting that third one to be my favorite, even considering that I’m the one that has to clean up after it. Why, you may ask? Because we’re going to make s’mores. If you don’t know what s’mores are, I have two thoughts: 1) You’re killing me, and 2) Watch this RIGHT NOW (it’ll make you better understand my first thought too):

Whatever our plans, Monday culminates the celebration of this long weekend…Memorial Day. In the midst of our celebration and activities (or lack thereof – I’m all for some relaxation too,) I encourage you, dear reader, to remember the reason that this day was consecrated.

It was thirteen years ago last month that my wife called me at work to tell me the news that our neighbor’s son had been captured by hostile forces in Iraq.  By the time I got home, yellow ribbons were everywhere…trees, mailboxes, front doors, windows…all in support and hope for Matt Maupin.

Four years later was when the next Memorial Day took on an even more united meaning for our small town, when Matt’s family got the word that he had, in fact, been killed in service of his country.  I still see his father around town, and the grief has spurred determination to make something greater come from the remembrance of his son’s sacrifice.   The Yellow Ribbon Support Center:

*Sends care packages to military individuals serving in harm’s way.

*Hosts an annual “Let Us Never Forget” Scholarship dinner to honor local fallen heroes.  Over half a million dollars worth of scholarships have been awarded to date in remembrance & honor.

*Sends & supports speakers at schools, public events, gatherings, etc. to share the stories of our troops’ heroism.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Center is one of many organizations that could use your help, if you’re so inclined to find one, wherever you may be.  I still think, too, that every one of our fallen heroes, and their families, will want you to have an enjoyable holiday weekend.  It’s been paid for dearly.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day 2016

On Monday, Memorial Day will be celebrated across the United States. It’s a third day to a (usually) fair-weathered weekend. It also means that Brian (and I, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones) will be making some S’mores. Lee’s sister can delve into the lighter colors in her closet. And, of course, American flags are in line up & down the streets in my neighborhood.

Many of us who are military veterans receive thanks for our service from time to time. And most of us will acknowledge that it was our honor to serve. But not on Monday – we didn’t earn that. Memorial Day is when we remember those who lost their lives while serving in our nation’s defense.

I got to serve during a time of peace. I’m grateful that I never saw combat, and I’m humbled to share the distinction of “veteran” with those who did. Those who saw combat may very likely know someone they will remember on Monday.  Others will remember a friend or family member…may they know comfort and peace from the thanks of a grateful nation.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, I encourage you to spend the time…even if it’s a just a moment…to consider the price that’s been paid for the freedoms we enjoy.  And have a great Memorial Day – it’s been paid for.

Memorial Day

 

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day

It all started the year after I bought my house. My next door neighbor – a Vietnam-era veteran, Honor Flight Guardian, and the best neighbor ever – bought a bunch of American flags & poles, and asked if it would be OK to put them out along the sidewalk in front of our houses to observe the upcoming Independence Day holiday…he had enough to go all the way to the corner of our street. We all thought it was a fantastic idea. And it was just the start.

The following year, just before Memorial Day, as Monty raised the flags down our street, another row popped up around the corner. And, come Fourth of July, there were more. Now, every sidewalk in our neighborhood is decorated every Memorial Day and Independence Day, at 10- to 12-foot intervals (to be fair, nobody published a standard, so it is what it is) with the Stars and Stripes.

I DO love this neighborhood.
I DO love this neighborhood.

Memorial Day, is, of course, the day that we honor the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the great country that my awesome little neighborhood is part & parcel of. And honor it we will. There will be parades with marching bands and floats. Veteran’s groups will perform ceremonies and vigils. Military aircraft will perform fly-overs at ballgames & special events. Monty will set the flags down our sidewalk. And most of us will enjoy a long weekend.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media, reminding us of the meaning of Memorial Day, “in case you thought it was national grill-out day, just another 3-day weekend, etc.” It’s a good reminder; that much is true. But we can honor their sacrifice in celebration too. This weekend, dear reader, I encourage you to light up the grill. Go see some fireworks. Bicycle around the neighborhood (or further) with your kids.  Go camping. Sleep in. Stay up late. Spend time with friends and family. These things are the way of life that our heroes fought and died for, right?

But in the midst of whatever you do, remember them: From the Minutemen who fell at Lexington & Concord, to those who didn’t make it home from the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.  May God bless them all, and those they left behind.

In closing, as a former submariner, I am also reminded of the ninety-nine members of the crew of USS Scorpion (SSN-589,) which was lost 47 years ago today (presumed, based on last communications.)

Sailors, rest your oars.
Sailors, rest your oars.

Please enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.  It’s been paid for dearly.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day 2013 image courtesy of Tony AlterCreative Commons License

Memorial Day 2014 – Thank You

Marine Memorial

In a conversation with one of my sisters recently, I was informed how elated she is that Memorial Day is approaching so she can soon wear white. There is, or maybe there was at some point, a fashion rule dictating that white only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As I understand, this was done by the opulent to set themselves aside from the working class, who often wore dark clothes for work.

When she told me this, I of course asked if she knew Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. “Accessoriiiiize!”, she said, as if her brain was assembling the ensemble she MUST wear as soon as possible.

This sister is a stark contrast to my other sister who is married to a retired Marine and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. For their family, Memorial Day takes on a much more somber, appreciative tone, as it does with me.
We are fortunate to live as we do, and regardless of a person’s political beliefs, we ALL appreciate the dedication and sacrifice of those in our armed forces.

I was recently told by a foreign national that they admire the culture of America. How we as a people do not fight for land territory, but for ideals and principles of fair living.
Let’s remember that, and remember those who have fallen in defense of our ideals.

Many of our EXAIR Families will watch their Boy Scouts walk in a parade or help decorate veteran’s gravestones with their 4H club, or remember their family members who have died serving the US military. EXAIR supports all of these activities and has the utmost respect and gratitude for those who have died serving our country so we may have opportunity and freedom. Please take a moment to think of our fallen, brave U.S. military people today.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Remember Memorial Day

Memorial Day for a lot of people is the start of summer, a day of barbecues, and outdoor recreation. Traditionally, Memorial Day is a day we take the time to pay tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who lost their lives serving our country.

Memorial Day - ArlingtonCemetery

Most of us will not attend any of the memorial services over the weekend.  I just hope we do not get wrapped up in the gala of a four day holiday weekend and forget those who made the supreme sacrifice.

Many of our cities and towns will have some Memorial Day ceremony. Some of the activities EXAIR employees will participate in include walking in a parade, distributing flowers on veteran gravesites with their 4H club and enjoying family and friends. We encourage you to find out what your community (or one near by) is doing and participate. At the very least, take a minute to think about those who fought for your opportunity to choose whatever you will do over this weekend.

My hats off to all of our lost defenders – Thank You!

Joe Panfalone

Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
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