Lest We Forget

American flags on gravesites commemorate Memorial Day at at United States national cemetery.

American flags on gravesites commemorate Memorial Day at at United States national cemetery.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
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This quote from Mark Twain makes me chuckle. He sure was a man full of sass and attitude. I chose to share it today because it is Memorial Day—a special day set aside to remember and honor those who gave their life in active military service to our country. Here in the USA we call them heroes.

At Petticoats and Pistols we write stories of the west with all types of heroes. The brash, the reluctant, the foolish, the wounded and what we call…the alpha. In romance, we write it with a Happily Ever After Ending and the hero is alive at the end. (YAY!) Although sometimes it is bittersweet and they have lost a lot to get to their HEA.

Merriam-Webster Hero Definition:

  • a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
  • rodeo queens & flagsan illustrious warrior
  • a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
  • one who shows great courage
  • the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work
  • the central figure in an event, period, or movement

No offense to Merriam-Webster’ definition but my heroes and heroines start out a bit more ordinary. It is only when they are caught up in extraordinary circumstances (a range war, a famine, a stampede, a robbery) that they must—through grit, intelligence, and determination—prevail.

Thinking about heroes and Memorial Day it comes to me that the men and women who have given their lives in service to their country are just that. They are you and me—ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Which makes their actions under duress – that much more noble. (Plus the fact some of them actually chose to race into danger!)

                                             ~A few of my favorite quotes on heroes~

Liberty & JusticeCourage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.
Billy Graham

It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.    Norman Schwarzkopf

A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Author Unknown

  Courage is being scared to death ~ and saddling up anyway.
John Wayne

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Don’t forget to take a moment today to remember and honor our fallen heroes!

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What are your thoughts on heroes and Memorial Day?

Pint. R&LThe Rebel and the Lady, has my favorite kind of hero. For one lucky commenter I will rush a print copy to your doorstep. Make sure to check back tomorrow to see if you won!

Here is the back blurb ~

Victoria Ruiz is on the run. Fleeing Santa Anna’s army, which is invading Texas. But Victoria is a lady of aristocratic descent. And this is no place for a lady.

Jake Dumont is a rebel. A loner. And a crack shot. He’s never stayed in one place for long. Never let anyone close enough to break through his guarded heart. Until now…

When Jake lays eyes on stunning Victoria, he’s rocked to the core. Here is a woman who will lay her life on the line for what she believes. Finally he’s found something worth fight for. The lady has stolen his heart. But can a rebel gunslinger claim an aristocrat as his bride?

Kathryn Albright
Kathryn Albright started writing the day she realized she married into a clan where Sundays in Autumn meant football – LOTS of football. She writes sweet historical romance and is both traditionally and self-published. Her stories have won several industry awards which you can learn more about on her website. When not caught up in a fascinating story, she enjoys road trips with her husband. She lives with her family in the rural Midwest. Visit her at http://www.kathrynalbright.com.

21 Comments

  1. Avatar

    my grandfather was a doughboy,,my father was in the korean war,my husband in the Army during the vietman era,,my step daughter was in the Navy in Cuba when 9/11 occurred,so we have a strong family ties to Veterans and Memorial day,my sons best friend is now in the Navy,,we honor those who lost their lives defending this country and to the Veterans now and then who served to protect us all,thank you!

    1. Vickie, thank you for telling me about your family’s involvement in the military! I started to write this post talking about mine — I have an uncle who was a spy in WWII and died in France. But as I was writing about him, I wondered if that was “western” enough since this is a western blog. I think honoring our veterans and those who have given their lives is so much more important! Thanks for stepping out and doing that.

  2. My dad was in the RAF and my Uncle was in the Canadian Army. Both came home safe, if not sound. My dad used to get some terrible nightmares, they dwindled as the years went by, but there were still times when he cried out in his sleep. We never forget the sacrifices they made to keep us safe.. God Bless them all who kept and keep this world safe from those who try to destroy what we have. Freedom…

  3. Well said Kathleen! The sacrifices are staggaring and it is so humbling to me that there are men and women willing to put their lives on the line–for their loved ones and for their country. God bless and watch over them–indeed!

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, Kathryn! May we always remember and honor those who fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy!

    1. Hi Britney! Thanks for dropping by Wildflower Junction today! And thanks for your heartfelt comment!

  5. My family has had a lot of military involvement over the years and I appreciate them, as well as all the men and women who serve our country today. My heroes though, are my dad and mom. A military veteran and a great father. An accomplished woman and devoted mother. If someone were to write a book about their lives, it would be a great love story -still ongoing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Wildflower Junction Phyllis! What a wonderful response. I wish every person on earth could feel that way about their mother and father. The world would be a better place.

  6. Well said, Kathryn! I love your blog and it brought a lump to my throat. My heroes are ordinary also. They are men and women just like you and me. People who do what’s right despite the odds. I love those quotes but my favorite is Billy Graham’s.

    God bless our heroes and all the men and women who answer the call.

    Wishing you a very happy and blessed Memorial Day!

    1. Thank you Linda! There are so many inspiring quotes about courage and heroes–It’s hard to narrow them down to just the few I used.

  7. On another note: the quote you posted – It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. Norman Schwarzkopf

    I was studying the life of King David today – a military leader – It was at the pinnacle of his success, when all his army went to battle and he decided to stay home. That decision, crossroad as Kay Arthur put it, led to a series of events that changed the course of his life. It reminded me of the quote above. If he had been with his men – where he should have been – …
    So, I quess that is off the subject 🙂 but, it does make you think.

    1. I hadn’t thought of that story as a tie-in for the quote but now I see that it fits perfectly! Thanks Phyllis!

  8. Kathryn, what a humbling post. My Uncle Vic was in the Marines on the front line of WWII. In Sipan, he lost a leg in an ambush and the only way he survived was to lay underneath his follow heros. He was a wonderful uncle, but we lost him to cancer when he was in his late 30’s. On the wonderful side of WWII … I was conceived. Or at least it was wonderful in my thoughts. Amarillo had a huge SAC base here and at the time of course the Air Force was the Army Air Corps. My daddy from Ohio was stationed here right at the end of the war and swears he saw Mama sitting at the Woolworth counter drinking a Coke and feel in love with her without even seeing her face. She had beautiful, red hair streaming down her back. I was born a little over 9 months after they married, which wasn’t long after meeting. They lived a wonderful life with 4 daughters and are both buried here in Amarillo. There’s two of my personal heros. I have a nephew and niece who both went into the Navy and I’m pleased to say they are living a wonderful life after discharge. Also, two brothers-in-law. My hero’s hero is my husband. He graduated from college at mid-term during the Viet Nam conflict and didn’t even get to walk across the stage. He was in Fort Hood on his way to Viet Nam during the worse of the conflict. After he got to Viet Nam, his mother received his diploma in the mail. We’ve been married 48 years now and he only mentioned his experience in the war one time shortly after we married and it was horrid. Then he asked that I never question him ever about the war. I know he, like all veterans, suffer in ways we’ll never know. I pray for all of the veterans that have gone before us, for those who are in war zones now, and those who follow. Blessed Memorial Day to all, Phyliss

  9. Wow, Phyliss — what stories you have! So you are an Army “Brat”? (I mean that only in the nicest way! I am actually a “Navy Brat” and my mom has red hair too!) My older brother almost went to Viet Nam but thank goodness the draft ended just before he became eligible. I cannot imagine how rough that was on our soldiers.

    Hope you have a lovely Memorial Day too! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing!

  10. Thank you for the great quotes. We should all make an effort to try and remember and thank our veterans every day.

    1. Hi Patricia!

      Thanks for stopping by! My husband actually does that whenever he sees a vet (in uniform because otherwise how would he know it was a vet 🙂 He always shakes there hand and thanks them for their service to their country. My boys had that happen to them a lot too, when they were in the military.

  11. What a great post! I am so thankful that we set aside a day to honor those that have fought for our freedom. Let us always take the time to reflect and raise our voices in prayer. Our soldiers now and those that have gone on, I say, “Thank You!”

    1. Hi Melanie,
      Thank you for commenting and nice to see you here again. I hope your holiday was lovely.

  12. Thanks for an excellent Memorial Day post! All men and women who serve in the military are heroes simply because they are willing to die for all of us – even when we don’t appreciate their sacrifice.

    This week my family and I went to Fredricksburg, Texas mostly to visit the Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War. It is an amazing museum especially when you consider that it is not in a big city. We found the plack dedicated to the 60+ men from my grandfather’s ship who died at Okinawa. (He was not on board because he had been injured fighting a fire from a kamikaze attack.) While attending a reenactment we also met a WWII vet who served with MacArthur.

  13. Hi Glenda! What a great way to “remember” on Memorial Day. That must have been a very humbling experience to see. We had a parade here in the small town where I live, however it rained the entire time, so the turnout was not as many people as it would have been with better weather.

    I have always wanted to visit the museum on Pearl Harbor, but I have never been to Hawaii.

  14. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and sharing your stories and memories with me! I enjoyed them!

    Congratulations Vickie C! I drew your name for the free copy of my book! I will be contacting you through email. If you do not hear from me – please send me your snail mail address! kathryn @ kathrynalbright dot com

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