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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