Today is Memorial Day in America. A day to honor those who died in service to our country. A day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
For many, it has become the kick off to summer – a day for barbecuing and playing outside. I suppose that even those who fail to remember the price that was paid for their freedom, are still a tribute to the bravest among us. The whole idea behind defending liberty is so that there can be a peaceful place for families to live and work and play together. A place of freedom. Freedom to remember or not.
Today, I choose to remember.
Earlier this year I discovered another family member who died during military service.
James wasn’t an American. He was born in Scotland. At the tender age of three, James left his homeland bound for South Africa with his siblings. He and his family were seeking a better life.
As a young, unmarried man, James drew up a will. In simple terms, he left everything to his parents. James was heading back to Europe. This time it wasn’t to improve his own life. It was to fight for the freedom of others in the Great War. James was part of the 4th South African Infantry.
On the 13th of April 1918, James was killed in action in Flanders.
Today, I honor and remember my cousin, James Boles.
James, thank you for your service.
James Boles – my 1st cousin, 4 times removed. Born – 11 October 1887 in Dalserf, Lanark, Scotland to John Thompson Boles and Christina Montgomery. Brother to: Agnes, James, Isabella, Christina, William, Helen, Elizabeth, John, Agnes, John, and Alice. Died – 13 April 1918 in Flanders.
Rest in peace dear cousin. I will think of you today as I post small flags on the graves of veterans close to home.