Sunday, May 29, 2011
When I was a kid that is what Memorial Day was called
This is what Wikapedia said. "Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service. First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans  to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
I didn't know that it was for the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. Then World War I so I learned something. I thought I would share with you a picture of my grandfather after he was back home from Europe from World War I
I never knew him as he died the year before I was born. I would have liked
him I think, he was known for his praying. He was a very strong man of God.
What I always think about on Memorial Day is that maybe for a month when I was
a kid, my Mom would collect tin cans. She would very carefully take off all of the paper from
the outsides and scrub them clean. She would stack them on the back porch on a table.
We lived in a very old farm house then and the back porch was screened. So they would
sit out there all shiny like small silver sentinels all lined up for a special job.
Then she would begin to cut flowers and she would wrap the stems in wet newspapers
and buckets of water. When we moved out here the people who had lived here had
planted lots and lots of old fashioned flowers. There was all kinds, of Delphiniums,
and Oleander and Trumpet Vine and Stalk and ever so many that I didn't know.
She would take tin foil and wrap each can ever so lovingly.
Then she would begin to make flower arrangements. Then when it seemed like
she had made hundreds she would put them in the trunk of our car. You know how
big the trunks of cars were in the sixty's it would be all filled up and she would have some cans at her feet and in her lap. She would yell when Dad would take a curve to fast on purpose. She would get all dressed up with white
gloves just like we were going to church and we would have to get dressed up too. It always seemed about a million degrees too.
We would drive to Green Lawn Cemetery. She would go find a man who worked there
and he would have this giant book and in it listed all of the names of the people
who lived there. We would walk to each grave and we had to be quiet and not run
around or make jokes. We were supposed to carry the cans of flowers and heaven
forbid if we dropped them. So we would go stand as she said words to each
grave just like they were there. Some people would have BBQs and things like
that. Not us, we spent the whole day being quiet and she would always be so sad.
I never understood her sadness until it came time for her to go live there too.
She lives under a Angel of Heaven tree with the Rock of Ages over close to her.
When I go visit I sing The Rock of Ages for days. She lives next to my grandparents.
Do you ever think about the dash? You know like in my Mother's case, 1938-1969,
The dash, do you ever think about how much life is poured into that dash. I was
born inside of that dash.
My family has served in the wars that have changed this country. Every one of them.
My husband's family has a land grant from General Washington for serving in the Revolutionary war.
My family was in the Trail of Tears when President Jackson wanted the land. He sent
them to Oklahoma.
I always think that is what I love about history, reading it in a book isn't what it is about.
History is what changes us and makes us and gives us roots.
Celebrating Memorial Day, helps us to remember those who have paid the price
so we can live the life we have.
Bless all of the people who have given of themselves to keep us free.
I hope your days is one full of blessings.