Thursday, July 13, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Our families gathered at New Bern, North Carolina for Memorial Day weekend 2006.

One day we toured historic downtown New Bern and learned about the early history of the first permanent capitol building of our state (Tryon Palace). We grilled and picnicked in Riverfront Park beside Comfort Suites along the Neuse River in the top picture (also notice the nice Silverado pickup in background).

Another day we drove 45 minutes to Swansboro, North Carolina to visit Hammocks Beach State Park where we rode a North Carolina State Park service ferry to Bear Island. The island's name should be Bare, not Bear but that's another story. This island's beach is a protected area for loggerhead turtles to lay eggs. The first below picture is the boardwalk to the unspoiled beaches of Bear Island. We spent a couple hours walking the beaches and playing in the water. We ate lunch from a cooler packed with cheese, fruit, and cold-cuts. When we returned to the park after a few hours, we toured the visitor center and ate watermelon on the grounds of this facility.

On Monday, Memorial Day, we prepared to drive or fly to our respective homes, but first, we drove to the National Cemetery in New Bern (bottom picture). There, with clipboard, paper and pencil for each person, we set out to locate a grave marker with a date of death closest to our personal date of birth.

The idea behind this exercise was to have each of us read grave markers of persons who were patriots before us. The purpose was to think about people who helped create and build our country to what it is today. As we spread out among the graves to find the closest death date to our birth date, instructions were to write that person's name, birth date, death date, service, rank, spouse name , etc from the grave marker.

Later we re-grouped and compared our findings and noted the one who found the closest date.

Again, the idea is to think about contributions of past citizens and contemplate what each of us does as a current citizen and patriot to perpetuate the greatness of our country.

I'm sure you have your way of acknowledging this national holiday. This is the way our family observed Memorial Day, 2006.

We departed the cemetery and traveled to Seattle, Chapel Hill, or Pfafftown.

Return here on Saturday, July 15 for another update.

Have a good day!



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