Why Every American Should Visit A Veteran's Memorial

Why Every American Should Visit A Veteran's Memorial

If there's one thing that all Americans have in common, it's that we all live in a land that was fought for.
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In the recent event of my great-grandfather passing away, I was placed in front of the opportunity to visit a Veteran's Memorial cemetery. Growing up in what I never noticed to be much of a military family until this day, I often took for granted the WWII and Vietnam Veteran's hats, shirts, pins, POW flags and post-war memorabilia that are shown so proudly throughout my grandparents' and great-grandparents' houses. I never understood any of the terms that my grandparents would use when they spoke about war. I never understood the types of helicopters my grandfather flew in Vietnam. I never understood the weapons that my great-grandfather spoke of from WWII. I never fully understood the effort that was put into the respect of displaying the American flag properly. I always had plenty of questions about their experiences, but now it may be too late to ask. There was something about going to a military specific cemetery that touched me in a way that I believe every American citizen should experience at least once in their lives. I don't truly believe that we understand the sacrifice that these men and women have made for our country until we are standing in front of rows and rows of graves of fallen soldiers.

When the family car first pulled up to drive that was lined with American flags, I was overwhelmed with patriotism immediately. I felt like this was home. I felt like this place was where all members of my family were laid to rest. I felt like I knew all of these people. I felt the pain of everyone I came in contact with that day. Not only was I sad for my own biological family who was laying our own Veteran to rest, but I felt sorrow for the thousands of other families whose loved ones were laid beside him.

Even if you're a person who doesn't have a personal connection to the military, every American has a connection to the freedoms they fought for. It's images like this one that take your breath away as you realize that each of those individual stones represents a soldier, a person, a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, granddaughter, grandmother, grandfather, neighbor, or friend. Each one of those stones represents an individual who fought for the ground that you're standing on today.

Visiting a memorial cemetery not only gives you a sense of pride for your country, but a undying respect for the people who are laid to rest there and for the people who are still out there potentially making the greatest sacrifice.

If not already on your bucket list, add it. If there's one thing that all Americans have in common, it's that we all live in a land that was fought for. To appreciate this sacrifice to the level it should be appreciated, this experience is necessary.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Allen

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Thank You Letter To My Biggest Supporters

My grandparents are two of the most important people in my life, and I would not be who I am today without them.

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I have always been super close with my grandparents, but as I became older, I realized how important they were to me. From showing up to every one of my soccer games, to babysitting so my parents could go out for date night, and everything in between, they have always been there for my family. Through the years as we went through changes and problems in life, they were always there to lean on. I have never been more grateful to have such loving people in my life and proud to call my grandparents.

Throughout the years, my family and I have been fortunate enough to travel to Arizona and Wisconsin to visit them for spring break and during the summer. Their homes have helped our family create so many lasting memories that we will cherish forever. This past fall, they sold the home in Wisconsin, which was hard on our family, but it made us really think about how much of an impact that house made on us and how much we are really going to miss it. Without this house, we would not have learned how to water ski, gotten cheap, but delicious ice cream at the town's windmill, or played pool and air hockey for hours in the basement of the cottage. I am forever grateful for this home and thank my grandparents for allowing us to make such special memories in their home.

When my grandparents chose to buy another home in Arizona, I never really knew how much it would impact my life. I chose to go to school across the country in Arizona, which allowed me to spend even more time with them and made us closer. From shopping to experiencing new restaurants, and walking around the fountain across from their house, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Every Wednesday I call my grandma just to share what's been going on that week, or just in life in general, and I look forward to it every time. It has created such a special connection between the two of us and she is always just a phone call away. Not only does it put me in a better mood, but it makes me so happy that I have her in my life.

My grandpa is the most generous person I have ever met and I hope to be just like him one day when I have grandchildren. Helping me financially with college has been the most generous thing someone can do and I am forever grateful that I have someone like him in my life.

Some people aren't close with their grandparents and if I were to recommend one thing, I would say go that extra mile to make that special connection with them. Ask about their lives when they were younger, where they met, and what they learned in life, it might just change your view on life.

Always take advantage of the time you have with loved ones because it can create such special bonds to last a lifetime. I have never met more special people than these two and I hope to be half the people they are one day.

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