A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Land of the free, home of the brave…


My kids, in particular.

Sometimes they drive me nuts. Other times they make me laugh until my face aches.

And sometimes they make my heart swell with so much love and pride, I fear my chest will explode.

Today is one of those days.

Placing flags on graves

On a brutally early Saturday morning—the first one of their summer vacation—a day when they could have chosen to sleep in or play with friends, my three children unanimously chose to meet up with their scout troops at Georgia National Cemetery to honor the brave men and women who have served our country.

Scouts honoring fallen soldiers at GA National Cemetery 2013

And they did it with such breathtaking reverence and grace, that they even attracted the attention of an AP photojournalist, David Goldman. My oldest, Vince, had his picture in several major online publications over the weekend, which was a huge thrill for our family. Particularly since he’s our quietest one…the child who usually flies under the radar because he’s too busy following the rules to draw much attention to himself.

Georgia National Cemetery Memorial Day 2013

It didn’t take us long. Many hands really do make for light work, and there were hundreds of scouts and surviving family members there to help. The final result was absolutely awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Happy Memorial Day from The Bearded Iris

There is nothing like seeing thousands of American flags adorning the tombstones of such brave men and women to remind us that freedom isn’t free.

If you ever get the chance to take your children to a National Cemetery, particularly on a day like Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, run—don’t walk. Photos simply cannot do justice to the way you and your children will feel when you see such humbling sacrifice in person.

To all the soldiers and their families who have proudly served our country, we salute you and we thank you.

Happy Memorial Day from The Marinelli Family

Happy Memorial Day from my family to yours.




  1. Abby

    Such a beautiful post, in so many beautiful ways. I walked by a local cemetery today and was awed and deeply humbled to see all the American flags on the graves. Thank you, indeed.

  2. Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla

    Your story brought tears to the publicist’s eyes.
    And maybe even mine.

  3. L. Hewitt

    The Marinelli family is such a beautiful inspiration. Thank you and Happy Memorial Day.

  4. Mere

    Beautiful, my dove. Outstanding.

  5. Ellen Arnison

    What a moving occasion. You’re quite right to be proud.

  6. Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)

    So beautiful, in both words and images! Your pride for your children shines through. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Lindsey

    This is so, so wonderful. I’m impressed by your generous and graceful children. xox

  8. Menopausal Mother

    Stunning pictures. Seeing thousands of graves adorned with flags makes me choke up—and realize the price we paid for our country’s freedom. Thank you for sharing this poignant moment with your family.

  9. Kate

    That was beautiful. One of the most amazing experiences I ever had was visiting Fredericksburg National Cemetery, which is part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, on Memorial Day weekend because my girlfriend lives in Spotsylvania. Volunteers light candles in luminaries at each of the graves and Taps is played every 30 minutes. It was incredible.

  10. Allysgrandma

    Thank you thank you thank you! For my father, my father-in-law, my brother, my brother-in-law and now my son-in-law. It’s families like yours (and mine) that are the heart and soul of America. Sometimes living up here in kookoo Humboldt it is hard to remember.

    Katie’s poignant photo was on the Pioneer Woman’s site again. Her grace under the poignant sadness of a military funeral still amazes me. Awaiting Jimmy’s return from Afghanistan soon and Aimee (oldest daughter) got engaged at the fabulous Giants game on Saturday! Remember the blog you could not read…..God does answer prayers!

    Bless your family!

  11. Carrie

    Proud, proud, proud. You absolutely should be.

    What a great group you have there. You’ve done good, girl.

  12. Roshni

    This is just wonderful! I did see that photo but didn’t know that it was your son!

  13. Anna

    Your kids are awesome and this adult liked being reminded that holidays like Memorial Day are about a lot more than what we should put on the grill that day.

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