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Celebrate- It’s A Time To Remember!

Celebrate- It’s A Time To Remember!

Memorial Day is viewed as a time of honor and remembrance. We attend parades, we visit cemeteries, and decorate the graves of the deceased with small flags and wreaths. Families and friends tell stories about their loved ones who have served over a picnic, a visit to the beach, or at a backyard BBQ. Memorial Day is also the symbolic start of the summer season!

Our brave soldiers fight for our rights and to defend our freedom everyday, all over the world. Nothing makes me more proud that knowing these individuals have our backs and are helping to keep us safe. Please make sure you pause to remember and honor them this weekend. Be sure to wear your Red, White and Blue, wave your flags... shop our American Pride Collection

Regardless of your political beliefs, there is one thing most of us agree on (or should) - we are lucky to be Americans! This Memorial Day weekend, I would encourage each of you to learn more about your own family members that served our country and share that knowledge with younger generations. If you are curious to learn more, but perhaps your veteran never shared any information, this article has some good tips for how to go about doing some of your own research. The following two individuals are from my family; they are our American Heroes and deserve to be remembered for their bravery, courage, and loyalty.

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This is my Great Aunt Norma (pictured above), she was an amazing person and I miss her terribly. She died less than a week before her 96th birthday. She saw so much in her lifetime- not always good, but the stories she did share were larger than life, full of travel, intrigue and excitement. She was such a proud American. Aunt Norma had so much energy and zest for life. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1952 and was assigned to the 825th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, known as the "MASH" unit in the Korean combat zone. Throughout her 20-year career in the Army, she served 2 tours of duty in Germany; was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, the 49th Field Hospital San Francisco, Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC and a military Hospital in Missouri attending to wounded veterans. She retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1972 to El Paso, Texas before moving to Wilmington, North Carolina and lastly to Virginia Beach, VA. Aunt Norma never missed the opportunity for a “happy” hour… for her it was a good reason to catch up and celebrate life everyday with those around her. She made those times so much fun for all. As kids she served us Shirley Temples and as adults, we would select our favorite cocktail of choice (even if the mix came out of one powdered envelope packets!)  She always had a funny cocktail napkin that made for great laughs and conversation too. She prayed every day for our troops to come home from overseas; she wholeheartedly loved her fellow Vets and this country.

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Another American hero was my Great Uncle - Martin Burne, a.k.a. Abbott Martin Burne O.S.B (for my non-Catholic friends, that is short for “Order of Saint Benedict ''). During my lifetime, I knew him as a quiet, caring, and intellectual man with an incredible heart (of course, he was a Benedictine Monk.) He was Abbott of Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ for a long time, but he was also an American Hero too. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1940 and served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy during World War II serving with the Marines in the South Pacific at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Guam. He volunteered to accompany troops to Iwo Jima, but was named chaplain at the Naval Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, VA where he was later detached from the service with a rank of Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was such a bright man. He had a Masters degree from Columbia University and later, a Doctorate from NYU. His bravery and faith helped our men and women through some of the toughest battles of their lives. Like so many, he rarely spoke about the war, but we are grateful and better for his service.
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So this weekend, on behalf of all our soldiers, don’t forget to fly your USA Flags.  Pick one up at if you need one -ours are proudly made in Maine! On Memorial Day, be sure to raise the U.S.A. flag quickly to the top of their flagpoles, slowly lower it to half-mast, and then raise it again to full height at noon. The lowering of the flag at half-mast is meant to honour the fallen soldiers who have died for their country over the years. While re-raising the flag is meant to symbolize the resolve of the living to carry on the fight for freedom so that the nation's heroes will not have died in vain. There’s a quick reference image provided for your use as well.

So raise a toast in remembrance of our soldiers this Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy the parades and picnics and be grateful you live in the best country in the world, home of the free because of the brave!

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Chris and The Piper and Dune’s Family




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