Sunday, June 14, 2009

Honoring the sacrifice of service members' families

"The women stood together after the ceremony and the speeches, as the crowd left to find lunch and workers took apart the public address system.
Raeann O'Connor's son, Pfc. Timothy Markle Jr., is serving in Iraq with the 56th Stryker Brigade of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
Connie McNally's son, Warrant Officer Steven Viands Jr., will return to Iraq for his second tour of duty in September.
'People say they understand, but they can't,' O'Connor said. 'You can't understand if it's not your family.'"
"We suffer," McNally said. "Very hard. There are days that you can't function."
"You wish you could hold your child," O'Connor said. "You wish you child could walk through the door at night. You wish you could just go to the movies, but you can't.
"Every morning and every night I have that question: Is my child coming home?"
They sat next to one another Saturday, as the Garden Club of York dedicated the Blue Star Memorial Garden built just inside the Brooks Robinson Plaza gate at Sovereign Bank Stadium to honor the families of those serving the country.
"As a blue star mother, it's hard to find other blue star families," O'Connor said. "York County can be isolating like that."
"We just met today," McNally said.
Listening to the tributes was difficult, they said. At times, both women choked up.
As speakers spoke of sacrifices that could never be forgotten, fans walked past on the plaza, not wanting to miss the Revs' batting practice.

Named after the flags given to the families of those serving during war, a blue star represents those supporting a son or daughter, husband
or wife in the military.
In 1944, the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees as a living memorial to those killed in World War
II. The next year, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the symbol when it began the Blue Star Highway system, which honors all veterans.
Both the Blue Star Mothers and Blue Star Families are organizations that support the families of those serving in the military.

Honoring the sacrifice of service members' families - The York Daily Record:

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