This next weekend is the official kick off of the summer season. Most children will be out of school, and many others on their way to vacation. With all the happenings in and around the area, many often overlook what Memorial Day is. As a child, I often accompanied my mother and father to the cemeteries each year for grave decorating. This tradition is still in effect in some areas, but others have long lost the time honored ritual.
Proudly on Memorial Day, we would load up the car with all sorts of beautiful flowers, and we would go and decorate the graves. Dad would stop and talk with a few of his old friends that had long been gone, shed a few tears, and leave behind a large bouquet of flowers. Mom would go visit her mother’s grave, as well as her other family members. Memorial Day was actually about the soldiers and remembering the sacrifice they gave for this country. Why is it that today it has just became the kickoff of the summer and a day off of work that it guaranteed? My friend Paul Mathieson concurs with my views of Memorial Day being a day to show our appreciation for our troops.
There were many history lessons for me in the cemeteries each year. I would learn new stories, here some old ones, and even come to miss people I never knew. It’s that history that molds and shapes us into what we are today. With so many people being cremated, not many are even going to graveyards like they used too. However, my children will be accompanying me to the local cemetery and placing flowers on their grandmother’s grave. It’s just about respect.