A new generation is growing up without knowing the price of their freedom. So many families are not preserving the stories of courage and sacrifice that are priceless. So why not start a new family tradition for Independence Day? Ask your veteran elders their stories and make sure they live on forever!
I've interviewed many seniors to write some of their life stories and the ones that make me marvel are those of sacrifice and courage in the service of our country. How many of you family members have served their country. Does your younger family members know just how much the gave so that we could all be free?
Norm was in his 90's when he told me about how he joined the service. He was a law student the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. The next day he enlisted. He wanted to be a pilot, but was over the weight limit. Instead, he was ordered to serve aboard a pilot ship. Still green in learning the skills of navigating, he was ordered to use a sexton and binoculars to guide that ship, which he in turn guided 40 other war ships to safe harbor. It took a lot of courage for him to succeed in that job, but he did.
These stories deserve to be remembered throughout all generations. You can make sure that happens just by taking the time to talk to your elder about their service. Camcorders, tape recorders or just a notepad and pen are all you need to preserve these stories forever. It will make a wonderful tradition in your family to have your elders talk about their service for the 4th of July!
Get your children and grandchildren involved. What a great summer project for your grandchildren to write down these stories, the way that they hear them. Take plenty of photos of the "interviews," so they'll have some art to go with their stories. Remember the women in your family that served as nurses and medics. Their stories are just as important.
If you have younger service members, get their stories also. Just be sensitive to how recently they've served. Let them tell you their story, their way.
Have you written down the stories of courage that are your heritage and your elders' legacies? We'd love to hear from you and know those stories, too!
If you or a family member is going through a crisis, I want you to know that you are not alone. The support and education you need is available at your fingertips from expert care professionals at Lutheran Homes of Michigan. You may talk to a real person who does have the answers, without any obligation by calling 989.652.3470 or by emailing
Share this article with your friends...