Guest Column

On Memorial Day, passing on a tradition of honor

May 24, 2013 

As I was reading books to my 2-year-old son, Brayden, the other night, I decided to talk to him about his great-grandfather and the importance of Memorial Day.

My grandfather, Hugh Bannard, was a World War II veteran who served in North Africa and Italy. He was a man of honor and integrity who always stressed the importance of service to our country. He also knew how important it is to help the men and women who bravely protect our country every day and to honor those who have died in service to keep us safe.

My grandfather was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post for 48 years.

He decided to move to Cary many years ago because he had heard through friends what a wonderful community this is to live. He was so proud to be a Cary resident and to be able to help military families in this community. He held various offices in the VFW and attended all the local meetings.

When he told stories about his military service, it was as though you were living history with him.

As a mentor to a younger generation of VFW members, he encouraged people to do community service.

My grandfather always had a great deal of pride in being an active member of the VFW, and he passed that tradition on to me. In turn, I will pass the tradition on to my son.

As a way to honor my grandfather and to help military families in need, I am now an active member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 7383 in Cary. The group does so much to help military families in our community. I was the chairwoman for the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Cancer Aide and Research Walk, which raised funds to help military families in a variety of ways.

Brayden attended the benefit walk.

There are so many ways that the VFW Post 7383 helps the men and women of the military, and I am so happy that my son and I can help the community this way. I want to help my son understand at a very young age the importance of helping the community.

I also want him to understand the importance of carrying on the tradition my grandfather instilled in me of honoring and helping those who keep our country safe.

My grandfather passed away a few years ago, but my son and I have the opportunity to honor his legacy by helping the VFW in Cary.

This Memorial Day, as my son and I reflect and give honor to those brave people in the military who have died to protect us, we remember my grandfather, who had so much pride in being a WWII veteran and helping those in the military through the VFW.

I will continue to be active in the VFW and will hope to inspire my son to continue to be active in the post as he grows up. It is my hope that when Brayden has children, he will remember how his great-grandfather served our country.

We thank the men and women of the military for their bravery and sacrifice this Memorial Day. We also want their families to know that their service will never be forgotten.

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