When I was a teen in 1970, I remember going door to door to collect money and raising pennies with bake sales and car washes. You see, my Mom wanted the small village we lived in to pay tribute to all the Veterans in the Village, whether living or deceased.
My Mother had an idea and she would not give up.
This was a time when Viet Nam Veterans were treated with disrespect and scorn by some of their fellow Americans. My brother served in Viet Nam bravely and valiantly and our family was very proud of him. Living in our small village also were many men and women that had served in Viet Nam, WWII and the Korean War.
My Mother had a mission, and she would not give up.
The Senior Citizens Club, The Boy Scouts, and The Girl Scouts, along with the help and generosity of the entire village, raised the $3000.00 needed for this project.
Over the past twenty odd years the monument had been forgotten. Something you drive past everyday becomes invisible. When it became apparent that the Village was no longer taking care of the monument, who stepped up? My Mom. She decorated that monument for every season and holiday…spring, summer, autumn, Christmas, 4th of July, Halloween…you name it…she decorated. She tended that monument as if it were her own. (Well, we always thought of it as hers) Several years ago, when she could no longer drive, the decorating was passed onto my Sister, My sons, and me.
Recently the Village decided to relocate the Veteran’s monument to one of their parks. All the old-timers were upset and worried that it would be relegated to a location that would not reflect its importance and grandeur. Needless to say, my Mother was heart-broken enraged at the suggestion.
The monument was moved with some Senior Citizens watching and without much fanfare. The re-dedication was scheduled for the morning of Memorial Day, and despite her health problems, and the heat, she insisted on going. To her surprise, the new location was perfect, and her the monument looks magnificent.
During the ceremony the Mayor pointed out my Mother, she had been pushed to the front of the crowd by my Son so she wouldn’t miss anything.. He declared that the monument wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t worked so hard so many years ago to make it a reality. She was beaming. He recalled the history of the monument and thanked her for all she had done. More beaming.
She had an impossible dream…but she did it.
My Brother – retired United States Navy, and the star of the day….. my Mother, in front of her impossible dream