Wednesday, June 2, 2010

::Honoring Our Veterans

Over the years Memorial Day for me has changed. When I was young I always associated Memorial Day with a day off from school which my family always spent camping for the weekend. As I have gotten older this day has come to have a lot more meaning for me. I've come to learn what this day is really suppose to mean to us as a country and this year it had even more meaning for my family. My 91 year old Grandpa, Alvin Schnoebelen, was honored in a ceremony Monday at Veterans Trail where his service to our country was acknowledged by Major General Sentman and he was given a certificate by Colonel McGinley. Here a portion of the trail is dedicated in his name, along with six other well deserving veterans. Nearly our entire family was able to attend and celebrate with him. These honorees that meet certain criteria are nominated by the public and then go through a selection process.

A few years ago at Christmas Grandpa gave all of us copies of his memories and experiences of WWII. It was extremely interesting and made us all realize how lucky we were that he survived and started the roots that have now expanded into our current families. Grandpa survived being involved in both the European and Pacific Theaters during WWII. He served on an ammunition carrier as a Third Class Radarman, very new technology at the time and of which they didn't have at the beginning of the war. His ship was hit by a Japanese Kamikaze single-manned submarine. There is no explanation as to why the ship didn't explode since it was carrying 4,500 tons of ammunition and around 48,000 rounds of shells. Although the ship was severely damaged it did not completely sink. It was the only ship during WWII to wear a purple heart on her mast until the end of the war.

My grandfather is the kindest, most gentle man I have ever known and we are all very proud of the service he has done for our country, helping to ensure our freedoms. He has and continues to lead a very honorable life and has even been able to meet his great-grandchildren. Quite awhile ago Joe and I decided that if we ever become blessed with a little boy Alvin will be his middle name.


  1. This is beautiful! Veterans hold a very special place in my heart. What a neat ceremony for your grandpa. Sometimes if we are out and see a veteran, we will stop and thank them for their service. They are usually shocked but happy someone acknowledged them. I think we should all be more appreciative for the sacrifices made. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. What an amazing story Meg! Thank you so much for sharing it!