Last month, my husband and I drove back home to Indiana and had a very fun and fulfilling weekend! It started off with my son’s wedding and reception (Greg and Stacy are now happily married) and then continued on through Sunday with visits with family and friends. On Monday, my sister Janie and I drove to Zionsville to meet Marlene Mendonsa, who had just returned from her trip overseas. Arrangements had been made for Andrea McCann, from the Zionsville Times Sentinel, to come and listen to Marlene’s story. Click here to see the story!
Neither Janie nor I were prepared for the extent of Marlene’s devotion and enthusiasm for her trip. An avid WW II history buff, she was knowledgeable about the war and determined to honor Raymond and my mother’s memories by her visit to the cemetery. Marlene presented my sister and me with the two small flags from Epinal that framed Raymond’s cross, as well as the dirt from around the cross. She also presented us with the “rubbing” she painstakingly made of Raymond’s memorial cross. Our family plans to take the flags to Raymond’s memorial in Fayette and then scatter some of the French dirt around Raymond’s memorial, before sprinkling the remainder around Mom’s grave in Lebanon. Our visit was very enriching and humbling, and Janie and I left that day with a renewed appreciation for our country as well as the hard work and time spent in maintaining military cemeteries around the world. We are so grateful to the Mendonsas for not only taking this awesome trip, but allowing us to be a part of their journey.
As we said good-bye to the Mendonsas, I told them that I would be presenting a power point presentation at the Indianapolis Public Library Franklin Road Branch book club later that evening. I invited them to come, and they did! Marlene even shared a little bit of her trip with the members, bringing the evening to a wonderful close.
What a fantastic weekend!