Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here in the United States of America, Monday May 30th will be celebrated as Memorial Day. A federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May, it is more than a day off from school or work. It was once known as Decoration Day and commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in military service to their country, whether here or abroad. History says it was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the devastating Civil War. After World War II, it was voted to honor all Americans who die in all wars.

Unfortunately, some people see the long holiday weekend as an excuse to party, drink, and take a few extra days off from work. Until you have someone in the service. I was one of ‘those people’ and, if I had the time off from work, devoted my free time to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and...drinking.

Not so, anymore. Once my husband and I started researching our family genealogy and I discovered my mom was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and dad was in the SAR, I was enthralled with how many of our ancestors served. My dad had a stint in the Navy, and my father-in-law was a career officer in the Air Force. We visited the graves of our ancestors, men who died in wars spanning the time since this country was new, starting with the French and Indian wars.

One spring, when we still lived in New Hampshire, my husband and I took a trip south to track down certain family members. My great-great-great grandfather was shot in the chest at the battle of Malvern Hill in Virginia and captured by the Confederates. His brother fought at Gettysburg and died in another battle near the end of the war. We found his name carved inside the New York Monument on Little Round top, then knelt by his small gravestone that we finally tracked down.

We visited the memorial of Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia where my husband’s great-great-great grandfather died near the end of the Civil War. The research, the family stories, and the graves opened our eyes, which made it hard to allow our youngest son to join the army back in 2002. After boot camp, being stationed in Germany, and a year serving in Iraq, he is home and continuing to serve in the Army Reserve. Happily, he lives nearby and is continuing his college education. He even helped me with my writing by coaching me on the correct military terminology when I wrote my contemporary military romance, UNWRAPPING CHRIS.

So, to my fellow Americans, enjoy your weekend but remember to make sure your flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. The morning position remembers the one million+ men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, the raised flag commemorates the living. Enjoy a family Barbeque, visit the beach, and honor your favorite soldier. Give them a big ‘Thank You.’

Sometimes the best memories are worth unwrapping once more.

Army widow Jayne Rockwell searches for a secure future for her and her two daughters. Staff Sergeant Christopher Hawkins regrets leaving young Jayne eight years ago to go off to war. A crash encounter a week before Christmas thrusts these two lonely people back into each other’s lives once more.

Jayne must learn to trust a man who disappeared with her heart. Chris must overcome the guilt of taking her innocence, and then leaving her heartbroken and alone.

A Christmas wedding brings them closer when Jayne spies him as a groomsman in Highland dress, complete with kilt. He cannot keep his eyes off the woman in green velvet wearing a wedding ring. Accusations, explanations, and remorse leads to a love that erupts among candlelight, Christmas carols, and a dark room. Who needs mistletoe?

Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended school in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She earned a degree in art education. After meeting her husband there, they raised a family in a small, nearby town. She was am EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes as Nancy Lennea.

Please check out her WEBSITE, BLOG, and her free excerpt at WHISPERS PUBLISHING.

This story may also be downloaded at AMAZON.


  1. Great post, Nancy. I'm glad you were able to find those old graves. It seems very fitting.

  2. Great post Nancy. It's always good to be reminded of what we celebrate. Too often we take things for granted. Especially our freedoms.

    My Dad and I are into Genealogy. He's been retired for several years so he's been doing some digging. Our family came to the US in the mid to late 1800s from Germany. (Yep, I'm all German) We already knew most of that. My Dad, with time to spare, decided to go back with my inlaws. He traced them all the way back to the Mayflower. He also found a great great great (not sure how many greats) grandfather who fought for the Confederacy and died in MS, the state we now live in. It's interesting how the family has come back full circle considering my inlaws and their parents lived in CA. Anyway, what fun to find out your family's stories. That's hard to do!! :)

  3. This is just a test comment since someone has reported trouble leaving comments. Well, ya never know!