26 May 2006

Decoration Day

This is one of those weekends that mean a lot to me. Decoration Day, aka Memorial Day, was created in 1868 to remember those who have died in our nations service. Growing up it was just another day with a few twists. The ‘rents had the day off of work, we would all go to the cemetery and put flowers on the grandparents, aunts, uncles gravesites and maybe attend a service at the church. The rest of the day was spent cleaning around the house, mowing, and hanging out.

I never really understood the meaning of this until I was older. I remember watching Art Moe putting a flag by Dad’s stone and realizing the significance of it. Art was much older than Dad, in fact was his Godfather, and had been through several wars himself. To see him taking time to honor my father, a fellow veteran, was very humbling. I began to make a point in my life of whenever I was at home to stop by the cemetery and taking a moment to think about those who have gone before.

I think this day has become one where people honor those they’ve loved, which is very good. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.

This weekend I can’t be at home like I would like. Mom and I can’t take our morbid trip around to different cemeteries checking on the sites, planting flowers, taking the moment to say thanks. This year seems a bit more significant to me, I’m not sure why, but Dad would have been 70 this year, just a week or so ago in fact, and it has struck me a bit harder this year. I was telling a friend back home about this and they offered to put a potted plant on Dad’s Place for me, which I’m glad my stubborn head didn’t rear itself and say no.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

1 comment:

Darius said...

Let's just hope it's not a future of sending young Americans into further "preemptive wars." It would end up giving Memorial Day a feeling of unmitigated sorrow.