A Day for Remembering…

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. What we have discovered through our many resident veterans is that if you delve into the process of remembering, it becomes an experience of joy and connection.

Recently Jim Triesler, who oversees Education and Programs Outreach at the Virginia War Memorial, brought “The Virginia War Memorial Remembers WWII” presentation to our campus. As an associate member of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Jim has interviewed hundreds of World War II veterans and collected thousands of original WWII letters. During his presentation he shared their stories, pictures and artifacts that he and the Virginia War Memorial have collected over the years. While there were moments of sadness and reflection on loss, there were an even greater number of smiles and connections made stronger by shared experiences.

Conversations started at the presentation and days later. Staff and residents talked of moments not often shared. Staff who haven’t served recalled stories of their father or mother who had. Spouses expressed what it was like to wait at home, how they shared in the war effort and their fierce pride at having a loved one serve. Along with the talk of loss there were also stories of laughter.

This Memorial Day, take a moment to talk to a veteran – to say thank you, and most importantly, to listen to what they have to say. You will both be glad you did.

Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_nebari’>nebari / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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