Memorial Day was yesterday. It is a day of remembering those who have died while in military service to our country, the United States of America. Many people use this time which is for most people a 3 day weekend, for camping, traveling, or family get together. While growing up, my family didn’t really celebrate it. We would occasionally go to visit one of my mom’s brothers and his family. Most of the time it’s a rainy weekend. I can remember many Memorial weekends being spent washing the windows in our house and our next door neighbor’s house. She was an older woman who had been single her whole life and had no children to come help her with things like that, so my parents took care of a lot of things for her. She really was a sweet woman though and she did favors for them as well.
My husband grew up on a farm and holidays like this for him were spent working. There was always something to be done. He does not remember doing anything special to celebrate either. We both kind of have carried on that tradition of not really planning anything special for the day or weekend. This year though, we changed things up a little. For one thing, I have been retired for the last year. I don’t need the weekend to catch up on work around the house. I actually have a little more physical and mental energy to plan and do something more than just hang around the house. We did manage to get our share of chores done around the house as well, but we made time for celebrating this year. We were able to see all three of our sons and spend time with them which is always a joy.
We also made the effort to go to the town’s Memorial Day service.
I’ve often thought I should go in the past, we’ve even talked about it but we’ve never made the effort to get up, get ready and get to the service on time. This year, by a fluke, we managed to make it. We were searching for the starting time on the internet via local newspapers and city resource sites but couldn’t find anything on the starting time. The starting time for last year’s service was 10 a.m. So we decided to give it a shot and see if it was the same time. It was a squeeze but we managed to get to the city park, find a parking place, drag our bag chairs along and find a pretty good spot to observe the ceremony. We then found out it started at 10:30 which was all for the best as we would have been on the late side if it had started at 10.
Not knowing what to expect from the service, I was pleasantly surprised. They had the color guard and the salute to the flags. We all said the pledge of allegiance and then sang the national anthem. There was a master of ceremony who did a nice job of keeping the program moving smoothly. The speaker was a current Navy Seal, I believe, and he did a very nice job of speaking. They had a couple of patriotic songs sung by a military chorus group, and a local highschool student read the Gettysburg Address. They finished with a roll call of the past year’s dead and retiring of the colors.
There was quite a good turnout for the service which pleased me. All ages were there. I was impressed by the families that went and took their young children. One of those families sat in front of us, consisting of 4 young boys and a teenage girl. I was so impressed by how well-behaved those children were! It was such a difference from what I normally see anymore that it was striking. They sat on a blanket quietly and ate some snacks their parents had brought along. They didn’t fight, talk loudly, or go running around. I commend their parents for doing such a good job with them. The downside was I did see another family that was the opposite. It appeared to me a grandmother, who’d brought along her dog and two grandchildren. I suppose I should give her credit for bringing them, but all they did the entire service was run around and in front of people and were disruptive. They weren’t quiet and they weren’t paying any attention to what was going on. I also don’t know why she brought her dog. Yes, it’s outside but think if everyone brought their dog, what an impossible situation that would have created. I like dogs, don’t get me wrong (I’m sure I will get a lot of hater’s comments on this) but why do people bring their dogs with them everywhere they go? I just thought it was disrespectful and out-of-place for this type of event.
I don’t know if we’ll ever attend another service or make it an annual occurrence, but I am very glad I went this year.
Gone but never forgotten.