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Friday, May 22, 2015

Protecting Freedom & Creativity - Happy Memorial Day!

by Marcy Collier
(I'm reposting this blog from July, 2011 in honor of the men and women who serve our country)

When I think of the freedom we share, I immediately think of all of the soldiers who have fought to protect our freedom. If it weren’t for these brave men and women, the article I’m posting right now might be prohibited by law. But thankfully, my speech is protected. I think we take for granted what those who came before us sacrificed.

My grandfather, Robert Mulligan gave his life to protect ours. I never knew my Grandfather. My mother only met him once. He died in World War II when my mother was only three months old. My mother saw him a second time at his funeral four years later. That’s how long it took for the government to ship his body back home.

My grandmother was left to raise her daughter as a single mother, which was rare in the 1940s and 1950s. Even rarer, my grandmother started college at the age of 16 and finished at 20. Her schooling helped her secure a stable government position with the Bureau of Mines.

I look back at my grandmother’s books from college, her contributions to The Westminster newspaper and signed books from friends and know I am a writer because of her. It’s in my blood.

I have never known much about my grandfather’s side of the family. Last year one of my favorite cousins met up with a classmate (a cousin I’ve never met) who gave her a pendant of the Virgin Mary that my grandfather purchased oversees for his mother and mailed home a few months before he died. She passed this beautiful pendant on to me. After 67 years, I have a piece of my grandfather from so very long ago.  

As I look at these objects from the past, I’m fascinated to hear stories and ponder new ones. Items from the past tell a rich, unique story. Whether it’s about fighting and dying for our country or the struggle to bring up your little girl as a single mother, each item is filled with a rich history.

I’m putting out a challenge to our readers to express their creativity and freedom of speech. Find an object from your past. Take a picture of it and write a story. Send the photo and story (200 words or less) to Route19Writers(at)Gmail.com. The deadline for entries is September 1st. We will judge each entry. A winner will be announced and published on our blog by October 1st. I’ll mail the winner a $10.00 gift card to Panera Bread. You must sign up as a follower of the blog to submit. Best of luck!

Have a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!


  1. Thanks for posting this, Marcy. Amidst the burgers and beans, we need to remember that this is the land of the free and home of the brave because of those who served.

  2. Thanks Laurel for your comment! Yes, we need to remember for all of the men or women who fought and continue to fight for the freedoms we enjoy today.