Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Memorial Day Memories

Today, while I was drying my hair, I began contemplating Memorial Day. Why do I want to go home for Memorial Day? I began reliving Memorial Days of the past. I began to envision what this Memorial Day will look like.
Monday morning will find us heading to the cemetary. We will spend some time hanging out at my grandparents and great-grandparents graves before wandering around looking for other graves-- great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles.
Then at 10:30 The Program will begin. There will be short speechs that will seem like forever to the kids, there will be some patriotic music. Then the local veterans will fire off a 21-gun salute. (When I was a kid there were seven shooters who fired 3 times. They were old then. At this point, there may be three shooters who fire 7 times from their wheelchairs.) A lone trumpet will play Taps from a distant-ish hillside. There will be a moment of silence before everyone wanders back to look for more headstones.
Every grave will have flowers. The graves of recently dead children will be covered with pinwheels, stuffed animals and other various toys and flowers. Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces will have a small flag flying by his/her headstone.
Some of the living will be teary. Some will be rowdy (mostly kids). Some will be chatting. Some will sit quietly remembering.
Eventally everyone will meander homeward for a BBQ with family and friends. The mood will change from one of reverence to one of revelry.
I remember Memorial Days of the past. Uncle Kent and Aunt Bonnie would come up. Dad would go get Grandma. We'd throw a couple of lawn chairs and the plastic flowers that Mom dusted off the day before into the van and head up the hill to the cemetary. I remember Grandma sitting in her lawn chair enjoying the patriotic program that I was totally bored with as a child. The adults would visit the graves of family while my brothers and I would run around looking for the interesting headstones.
Usually, later in the afternoon, Mom would drive out to Hinckley to visit her grandparent's, great-grandparent's and great-aunt's graves and leave an offering of flowers. Sometimes we went. Sometimes we didn't and Mom would make the trek herself.
This year there will be no Grandma to pick up. She left us 7 years ago. There will be more headstones to put flowers on. But there is a new generation of grave visitors. A whole new set of children to run around and be disruptive. What better way to celebrate those who have died?

1 comment:

Richard said...

I miss those days sis-wish I could be there with you all. Hope the trip is enjoyable for you.