Happy Memorial Day 2019

by | May 27, 2019

Yesterday Mom and I went to put flowers on my father’s and grandfather’s graves for Memorial Day. Both served briefly. Dad in the Army and Grandfather in the last days of WWI. After sprucing up the gravestones and adding in the begonias (that we’ll retrieve to grow in the garden this summer), we went out to see the new War Dog Memorial here in Cody.



The unveiling happened last week and, unfortunately, I had prior commitments (working at Open Range Images) and couldn’t make it that day.

One of the reasons this memorial touches me so is because I am a dog person, and in particular, a working dog person. But the war dog I think of this Memorial Day was named Kenya. He didn’t die while serving, but the stories told about those days just broke my heart for those that did. I only knew Kenya in his retirement – a neighbor was his handler through more events than I’ll ever know. His neck and back were stiff from age. He always came up to me for the only thing I could give to this veteran – a deep massaging neck rub.

He still had a job and traveled the perimeter of the property looking for anything out of place – and would quickly alert his people if something was found. He also took on the role of protector of the kids with his German shepherd companion. The training and bond between him and his family always moved me. For Kenya to allow me into their house to take care of things when they were gone was a real honor.

To know there’s now a war dog memorial added here in Cody makes me smile. War dogs, too, fight for our freedom and some gave their all. It feels right.


As Mom and I continued to walk around the State of Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park, we were once again so impressed by the work done here to honor the fallen Wyomingites. Mom recognized some names here and there and told a few stories.

While this is an appropriate way to celebrate Memorial Day, I also notice many motorhomes and campers driving by – and think that, too, is a proper way to celebrate even if it looks a bit different. Let me explain how I see this.

When you’ve lost something dear to you, it only hurts when others don’t appreciate what they have. For example, I was unable to have children – and it hurts when I see parents who honestly don’t cherish their children. But my heart swells with the appreciation of those who adore their kids and would do anything for them – and understand the value of this truly unconditional love.

In the same way – those people who are out and about with their campers and getting together for picnics and three-day vacations ARE appreciating the freedom they have thanks to those who gave us their all even if they don’t pause for a moment today. By simply living their freedom, by enjoying life thoroughly, they honor the fallen through that joy. Cherish your life today, the freedoms we enjoy, and appreciate it all. Freedom isn’t free, but it is to be lived.

Happy Memorial Day!


When visiting Cody on your way to or from Yellowstone, be sure to stop by the State of Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park. You’ll find it on the Greybull Highway out by Beck Lake and near Choice Aviation.