Memorial Day is upon us, the special day in the United States when we remember the people who died while serving in our country's armed forces. Here is a virtual tribute to those that made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America.
When I was eight years old, I rushed into the kitchen afflicted with a cut on my wrist. She cocked one eyebrow, looked down her glasses and calmly responded in her Southern drawl to the screaming child in front of her. "Well, you're not deaaaaad yet."
The plant may have been a memorial to our pain and grief, but over time, it came to symbolize our strength and resilience. Despite our pain, or maybe because of it, Matt and I grew infinitely closer as a couple during that time.
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake or Asian Tsunami Disaster, which killed an estimated 230,000 people in 14 countries. It elicited one of the greatest outpourings of humanitarian response ever from the global community.
It was seven years ago when I identified Fulmoth Kearney of Moneygall, Ireland as the most recent immigrant on the maternal side of Barack Obama's family tree. Inheriting land in Ohio from a brother, Fulmoth's father, Joseph, left Ireland for the United States in 1849.
Back in 2007, I researched then-candidate Barack Obama's roots and identified one of his third great-grandparents, Fulmoth Kearney of Ireland, as the most recent immigrant on his mother's side of the family.
As service members, we joined the military to ensure that our distinctive American identity remains robust. That identity includes the iconic landscapes that Americans can enjoy on our public lands, from sea to shining sea.
Back in 2009, I traced the then-new First Lady's family tree back four or five generations on all branches, but of all the ancestors I uncovered, it was a great-great-great-grandmother named Melvina Shields McGruder who captured my attention.
The Veterans Administration offers a number of burial and memorial benefits to veterans if their discharge from the military was under conditions other than dishonorable -- which will need to be verified.
Isn't what matters most that we all remember? That we remember not just the drama and the tallies of lives lost, but the individual moments and people. And the efforts by those who love them to create lasting temples to their memory.
As part of a valuable experience I was seeking for a story, I worked part time for a week in a funeral home. You know, just to get a feel of what Six Feet Under was like. I have to admit that there is no monkey business to report after a few days, all is calm and regal.