Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Day Of Remembrance ~

These are photos taken two years ago on Memorial Day Weekend~
Sigurd Cemetery!
Roger and I at the Sigurd, Cemetery 
 My Parents Grave Markers~ 
As a young child I always loved the Memorial day Celebration! It was fun to go and decorate graves and hear the stories about ancestors. In Richfield where I grew up. They always have a band that plays at the Cemetery Patriotic songs during the day!
Here is a photo of my Great Grandfather, Eskild C. Peterson and Sena Peterson's Headstone. He served in the Black Hawk Indian War. I loved reading their history. This is their family photo.  Both my Great Grandparents are wearing badges of honor given for his service in the war. My maternal Grandfather is last on on the back row, right side. 

As a family we would prepare for decorating the family graves by mowing our lawn and saving the grass clippings to place upon the graves, along with the flower arrangements. At that time the Sigurd Cemetery was not landscaped with grass; therefore the need for the grass clippings. I often heard my Dad tell how he was left as an orphan when his father was killed in the 1st World War and his mother had passed away earlier and he was then raised by his maternal Grandmother. As we would finish the graves in Sigurd by dear mother would remind him that she didn't want to be buried in that cemetery because it didn't have grass. 
 My Grandfather Herbert Gledhill gave his life on the fields of France in the First World War. He fraught hard for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Here is short history of his life.
On December 20, 1911, Herbert married his childhood sweetheart, Maggie Short McMillan, in the Manti Temple. Herbert was 21 and his bride was 17. Maggie was the daughter of John and Mary McMillan, also residents of Sigurd. The newlyweds built a small home on the McMillan property and settled in for what they hoped would be a long and happy life. However that was not to be the case.
On the 24th of Nov. 1912 the couple were blessed with their first child and named him Max Herbert Gledhill. But Max only lived a little over two years and died on Feb 6, 1914 of pneumonia and pleurisy and was buried in the Sigurd cemetery. Two years later on August 15, 1916 a second child, again a boy, was born. They named him Millan France Gledhill after his maternal grandfather. Millan was my father.
This photo is my Grandfather, Herbert; Grandmother, Maggie and my Father, Millan~
But all was not well. Maggie only lived a little over a year after the birth of Millan. She died in Salt Lake City on January 11, 1917. Her death certificate indicates a cause of death as Nephritis. She was brought home and buried next to her son Max in the Sigurd cemetery. The newspaper account of her death is poignant in describing the family tragedy and the overwhelming grief. 

This left young Herbert, 27, a widower with a 17  month old son to care for. He had lost both a wife and a child within three years. On June 5th, 1917, Herbert Gledhill registered for the Army. He did not seek any exemption for service based on hardship.
Herbert seemed driven to enlist in the army and fight for his country in the Great War in Europe. There may possibly have been more than that driving him. A report in the local newspaper indicated his mother prevailed on him to wait for a few months for his young son’s sake. He did so, but when the call came he went to Camp Lewis and was assigned to the 26th infantry, Company M, and sent to the trenches of Europe. He fought in Flanders and Piccadilly and spent a total of seven months fighting the Huns in the trenches of France. In a letter home he described the nights "like a great lightning storm at Fish lake, only 100 times worse". He died in battle on June 14th, 1918. The Richfield Reaper reported his death as heroic and noble and the “First Offering of Sevier County on the Altar of Freedom.” His body was returned to the land of his birth with great ceremony and he was buried a hero along side his sweetheart in the Sigurd cemetery. Short History of my grandfather by a cousin Brad Ogden
There have been many others loved ones that have served in our arm forces through the years. My Uncle Kirtley Bell served in he World War II. My brother Mac Millan Gledhill served in the Navy for 4 years in the 1950's; both deceased.
My son in law Brandon C. Workman served in the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq for 18 months. Our Nephew, Kevin Williams served as a Navy Seal for many years.
I was raised in a family that honored our Flag, National Anthem and our great country. The scriptures are clear that our Nation will be in peril if we do not follow the God of this land. I always feel sad when the National Anthem is played and a few choose to not place their hand over their hearts.  The instances of disrespecting our Flag have increased. How sad to know that many do not believe in a God and desire to take God out of our country. 
I know that our Heavenly Father and Savior love this great land and desire to bless it. May we all pray for this wonderful country of ours and for wise leaders to guide it. May we pray for all the men and women who serve in the armed forces and are willing to give their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. 

Do to our mission and other commitments, I am not able to decorate my parents and grandparents graves this Memorial Day so I have a dear cousin doing that for our family. I have thus chosen to honor my parents by sharing with you a couple of precious memories.

One of my favorite memories of my father was a day that I visited with him in a care center a short time before he passed away on Oct. 15, 2001 from Alzheimer and complications from a hip surgery. My Dad and Mom loved to dance. Through the years he would always grab my mom and many times me and whirl us around the floor as the music played. I loved having him dance with me. On this particular day he still remembered me. We went into the activity room and the good oldies were playing and he took my Mom in his arms and they had their last dance. Next he grabbed me and I will treasure that moment forever. I miss you Dad. 
My dear Mother lived with us the last few months of her life. I treasure the moments I had with her and only wish I could have been with her more. My mother always like to look nice. She would never go anywhere without make-up or her hair done. She had just turned 90 years old and we had a huge Birthday celebration for her. A few short days after this event she became weaker and spent more time in her bed. One Sunday I had left her comfortably in bed while I attended a Sacrament meeting. I ran home to check on her. She called to me as I came in the door and told me she was watching an info commercial on TV. She asked me what I thought of the product called Sheer Coverage. I told her I had used it and in fact had used it on her when I was helping her get ready for her birthday party. She then said; LeAnn why don't you order me some. I assured her I had enough to share with her. Only a few short weeks later she passed away.  Mom thanks for teaching me how to be a wife, mother and to care about looking my best as I am sure Heavenly Father wants all of his daughters to do.
My oldest brother Mac passed away at the age of 74 in July of 2010. My heart still is so tender when I think of him not being here. I loved him so much. He was always my protector and confident over the years. I love each and everyone of his family members. They are so dear to my heart. 
Then in April of 2014, my brother John passed a way at the age of 74. Here again, I lost a very dear friend. I loved him so much. The last few years we drew closer than ever and I will treasure those moments. Again, his family is very precious to me and I love my moments with them. 
Now my immediate family is gone and I feel happy that I have many precious memories.  A day doesn't go by that I don't have a tender thought come to mind of one or another of them. Remembering is such a poignant and nostalgic part of our life experiences. 
Here is the photo of one of the last times we were all together as a family. Left to right; my husband, Roger, myself, my older brother Mac, wife, Amparo, my Dad, Mom, Gloria and brother, John. 
May we all remember our loved one that have passed beyond who have touched our hearts and been examples to us through the years. May the tears shed on this Memorial Day be a reminder of this great nation and all of us who love it and serve our God. Indeed; God Bless America. May we be safe in the arms of the Savior's Eternal Love. 
Have a Happy Memorial Day filled with memories of passed loved ones!
 I know we will see them again!


Christy Monson said...

I love the connection with our past. I love decorating all the graves--in remembrance. I am so grateful for their lives and example they were to us.

Lots of love to you and yours. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

Gus said...

Thanks for sharing aunt Leann. This was great to read. I miss them all.

Tracy said...

This is a most beautiful, and moving post, LeAnn... how much you and your family have offered out country. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us... and on this great day. :) God Bless you & yours ((HUGS))

Debbie said...

i never enjoyed history when i was in school, now i love it. i really enjoy reading family history and seeing vintage photographs. there are not enough from my family!!!

it is wonderful to see all the flags marking the headstones - i know most cemeteries provide them for all know veterans. i'm not sure young people know enough about the sacrifice, i did not when i was younger. i enjoyed seeing the comment from gus, family appreciating your writings!!!

Marsha said...

What a beautiful blog....taking us along on a part of your family journey.

Unknown said...

recently watch some war documentaries and it made me think of Herbert and Grandpa Mac. So i did a google search and came across this blog. Thank you for doing this it was wonderful to read.

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