After the big bus ride, we had dinner at Forest Hill Church of Christ:
And of course when this group gets together to eat, we dine on nothing but the best:
Mmmmm, mmm. Leonard's barbecue. Mr. Pig goes to town.
Sylvia digs in.
Our dinner was held in the break room at the Memphis School of Preaching, right there at Forest Hill Church of Christ. Leta did a great job preparing the dining room. Pretty nice, huh?
We had just the right amount of room. A perfect location.
Freddie digs in.
There's a great looking group. Marla, Heather, Karen and Lynette.
Freddie continues to dig in.
Eric makes goo goo eyes.
There's Shannon, Mariam, Mike, Connie, Devin, and in the foreground, Eliot's back.
That's Connie, Devin's cup, Sylvia, Bonnie, Bill's belly and Kyla.
Freddie heard that the Republic of the Philippines was offering medals to American servicemen who participated in the liberation of that country during World War II. He asked Bill to check, and a quick email to the Philippine Embassy in Washington revealed that Freddie was right. He definitely was due some medals.
So with all proper respect and honor, we had ourselves a medal award ceremony.
Here's what they are:
WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL
for active duty service at any time between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.
PHILIPPINE LIBERATION MEDAL
for participation in the liberation of the Philippines from Oct 17, 1944 to Sept 3, 1945.
ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL
for 30 days of service in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946.
That's the letter that accompanied the medals.
Here's one citation.
And a third!
Apparently Bill is saying something interesting. I have no idea what it might have been. Could have been the story about the girl named Cinderella. Want to hear it?
Look! It's cousins! Devin, Kyla and Shannon.
Awww. Some pictures are so good you just have to repeat.
Look! It's Virginia and Gina, pronounced "Jinna," and don't you forget it.
Bill takes careful notes on all the mistakes he's made in the family tree. Edwin explains it all.
OK. Somebody explain to me exactly what Freddie is up to.
Whoa! Are these my relatives?
Awww. Connie and Marla frame a cutie. Wake up, Caroleena!
Eric and Sarie
Sylvia and Bonnie. Have I mentioned that this entire reunion was all Sylvia's idea? Great thinking, Sylvia.
Eliot and Mike
Everybody is listening to Bill again. What on earth could he have been talking about?
Pre-medal Freddie and Leta
Bill reads and reads and reads.
Let's start foreground left. That's Virginia, Gina, Freddie, Leta and Edwin.
Eric, Sarie and Cindy
There's Marla, Heather, Karen, and Lynette. Have you noticed that Karen looks as young as her daughters? Do you realize I'm only two years older than Karen? Do you? Hm? Phooey.
Connie and Marla, with Caroleena zoned out in the middle.
Eliot and Mike
Sylvia and Bonnie chuckle while Mariam experiences a barbecue explosion. Edwin and Gina are oblivious.
Great picture, but the smile wattage is likely to blow a fuse. The lovely Lynette, Karen and Heather.
Lynette, Caraleena and a blurry Sylvia, with a bit of Virginia on the side.
Sylvia attacks Lynette and Caraleena
Bill continues to read. Will he never stop?
Heather actually has plenty of experience pinning medals on military heroes. No kidding.
Bill keeps reading. What's the deal with this guy?
Heather never stuck Freddie once.
When Freddie walked away, he seemed to stumble and Bill began to assist, but then we realized the only problem was that the medals were so heavy they threw Freddie's balance off. That Freddie is such a kidder.
And quite a talker, too.
Mariam and Karen marvel at Bill's belly.