#GoSilent on Memorial Day 2016

Honoring Memorial Day

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the What Kind of World Series

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ John McCrae, May 1915

How do YOU relate to Memorial Day?

For many fortunate people – 80% of us, according to a poll taken by the National World War II Museum —  Memorial Day is little more than the official beginning of summer. It’s the day we get our barbeques and lawn furniture out of storage to picnic with family and friends until our Labor Day parties mark summer’s end.

One of the longest-standing events that many will attend this year is the Indianapolis 500, held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

NASCAR‘s Coca-Cola 600 has been held later that day since 1961 and, since 1976, the Memorial [Golf] Tournament has been held on or close to Memorial Day.

And still . . .

For too many other Americans, however, Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the day they honor that other day – the one that changed their lives forever – a day of remembrance when they hope that the deaths of their loved ones will never be forgotten, and when they pray that their fathers, husbands, uncles, nephews, sons and grandsons did not die in vain.

It is the one day set aside for all of us to honor and remember, as a nation, the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

It happens every year on the last Monday of May
May 30th in 2016

Many people will take time to visit cemeteries and memorials around the county to honor the loved ones of others who have given their lives in military service, as well as anyone they know personally who has made the ultimate sacrifice.

Various groups of volunteers will visit national cemeteries to place American flags on soldiers’ graves.

Cities and townships across the nation will hold stately parades led by marching bands, often including Army jeeps and other military vehicles, antique as well as current.  The National Guard is often featured in those parades, along with Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard — active servicemen and women marching alongside veterans of all ages, in uniforms representing many too many wars and even more fallen soldiers.

Read more of this post

Rarely Proud to be an American Anymore

How did our country become so selfish?
An interaction that left me Grumpy – and it’s not even Monday!

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
in the Monday Grumpy Monday Series

Walkin’ my Dog

As someone who moved around a lot throughout my life, I am currently living a considerably more isolated life than I would prefer because I have landed in a town I can’t really understand – Cincinnati, Ohio.

From my experience, at least, Cincinnati seems to be one of those towns I’ve come to call “passport towns.”

An introduction from somebody who’s grown up here – or lived here for most of his or her life – seems to be a prerequisite for even so much as a welcoming smile many days, and certainly the passport needed to develop a community of true friends. Since my move here several years ago, I have found myself quite lonely as a result.

True friends share each others’ lives, not merely conversations in passing or occasional calls for help or understanding in times of trouble. Most of my friends are scattered across the nation, so I frequently get a hankering for a a bit of face-to-face interaction, even though, since Kate Kelly’s passing, I no longer know anyone in Cincinnati I could count among my true friends.

Enforced isolation is something I have not experienced since, many years ago now, I first moved to New Orleans, Louisiana for grad school – another passport town. That surprised me, by the way. I’ve always made friends easily, and it’s extremely rare to need a passport in the South. But I think I finally figured it out.


I’ve observed that the two towns I mentioned are alike in this way: people who grow up there tend to stay put or move back “home,” perhaps because they finally tire of living in some other passport town where they couldn’t develop a community of friends either. In any case, a great many of the residents of these towns seem disinclined to widen their circles to include a stranger without the requisite introduction from a local.

Taking my own advice (from the Series I have been writing on loneliness and isolation), my little dog TinkerToy and I get out several times a day – and I smile warmly at everyone I pass on our walks around the neighborhood (even if they don’t return my smile). I engage anyone who seems the least bit friendly in a passing conversation.

“Hi, how are you?”
“Don’t you just love (or hate) this weather?”

When I notice an expression on a face that seems to indicate that they are about to bring our little chat to a close, I wave them on and tell them I hope they have a nice day.

Related posts:
The Importance of Community to Health
When You’re Longing for Connection

But passport towns are not the central point of today’s post.
Walking my dog is how I came to meet Staff Sergeant Brown.

Some actual connection

My little Shih Tzu TinkerToy and I frequently pass a small cigarettes-snacks-and-beer store that serves the many college students in this section of the walking neighborhood I currently call home. Staff Sergeant Brown was sitting on a stoop out in front, keeping watch on two large garbage bags bulging with cans.

Do you know what he can get for those cans these days?  A whole thirty cents – per pound.

And that’s how this courageous, 63 year old veteran of FOUR wars is currently supporting himself – because he is too proud to beg.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: