On May 28, 1984, Mike and I got married. It was a warm day with a little rain which we were told would bring us luck. As we celebrate our 28th Wedding Anniversary today, we were witness to the Memorial Day ceremony here at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. It rained during the entire ceremony which was small sacrifice when looking out over the grounds and seeing the almost 7,900 crosses/stars of David on the graves of those who were loyal to their country and paid the ultimate price, their lives for our freedom. The sailors and soldiers who participated stood out in formation during the entire hour and provided a visual reminder that we continue to have those who serve their countries faithfully. The bands (Italian and American) played music befitting the occasion and stirred the hearts of all attending.
Remembering back to our wedding day when our family and friends gathered to witness our marriage, we knew little of what our lives would bring. We've already had many adventures and have lived in many States and Countries. Mike continues to serve his country, not it in the military any longer, but in the service of the U.S. Government. We have the honor of living in places of beauty in Europe and are able to share experiences in visiting places quite unlike our hometown in Pennsylvania.
Today, following the ceremony, we were invited to attend the luncheon hosted by the Admiral of the Navy from Naples Naval Base. It was in a small, intimate restaurant at the Port of Anzio. We had a perfect view of the small boats going and coming. The preparation of the food was done in front of us by a talented chef. Handmade pasta, beautiful seafood (straight from the fishing boats), ending with handmade pistachio gelato (it tasted a lot like peanut butter which Mike and the rest of us found amazing!). We drove back to Nettuno (10 mins. away) and Mike continued his visit with one of the Commissioners of ABMC by taking her and her mother on a personal tour of the cemetery. Our Anniversary will end like all of the Memorial Days have since Mike joined ABMC in 2001 -- with us happily sitting in the living room with our feet up giving thanks for a day well spent.
Before we embarked on this second career/life, I have no memory of Memorial Days during our marriage. I do, however, remember marching with the West York High School Band in the Memorial Day parade that ended at the VFW. I remember that well and knew how special it was to honor those who fought for us in the wars. My father, adopted father, and uncles served in the military and fought in WWII. They all survived the fighting and came home to their families. God bless them for their service. They are all up in Heaven and I hope they are looking down on these ceremonies and cemeteries with pride for their sacrifices during their service. We will not forget. The Greatest Generation will not be forgotten.
Taps was played during our ceremony as it is at all Memorial Day ceremonies at our cemeteries.
And we will rest...
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.
By Horace Lorenzo Trim