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Every Memorial Day Morning

About Today's Guest Author

Memorial Day weekend carries a different meaning than any other weekend of the year. It reminds us of a debt we cannot repay to the brave Americans who paid the highest price for their commitment to freedom. This week, our compliance manager and Navy Veteran Shari Stypa shares her thoughts on what Memorial Day Weekend means to her.

Shari Grandpa Memorial Day B

Grandpa V. served during WWII and Grandpa W. served during the Korean Conflict, losing a brother in that war – but neither talked to me about their time in the Army. Grandpa V. passed away when I was young, but Grandpa W. watched me leave to join the Navy after high school. He was so proud and made a few trips with Grandma to visit me and then jumped at the chance to move me back home after my enlisted time was up in 1997. When Grandpa W. passed away suddenly three years later, it hit me hard and sparked a new tradition in our family.

Shari Grandpa Memorial Day A

Every Memorial Day morning, we travel to the cemetery where he's buried to stand near his grave during the Memorial Day service. We watch as the American Legion Color Guard passes by, a short prayer is spoken, the names of all those buried there who served in the military are announced, they fire a 21-gun salute, and Taps is played.

It still brings tears to my eyes hearing the bugle play signaling the end – the end of the life of someone who once decided that our country's freedom was more important than their own life. I'm so thankful for these two great men, my former shipmates who have passed, and all those who are gone but will never be forgotten.

I hope you spend time with loved ones this Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment to think about those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

-Shari Stypa

Former BM3, USN

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