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Decoration Day

Another Memorial Day has come ’round, and once again, I didn’t make the family pilgrimage to the cemeteries.  I was hanging out at home, hoping someone at one of the local plants had an accident (non-lethal, of course; you can’t do drug testing on a dead guy) so I could pick up the relatively lucrative call-out fee.  Never happened, so I’ve basically wasted another opportunity to document my family members’ locations in the cemeteries.  I am running out of these opportunities, what with both my parents being 90 years old (or close enough, in my Dad’s case, with his birthday only a week away).  And I’ve missed another opportunity to take a few moments to visit the G.A.R. and Spanish-American War veterans’s graves in “our” cemeteries that almost no-one visits anymore (along with those from our later wars, of course).

I’ve never been good at the sorts of posts that I would like to write; inspiring, patriotic remembrances and the like.  I have those thoughts and feelings in me, I’m just horrible at getting them out.  Just as well, I guess, as there are others who are better at it anyway.  Like Aesop.  As for me, later in the week I will be in western Kansas on business.  I will be driving through Ft. Dodge.  I’m planning a stop at the military cemetery there.

Reading Aesop’s post reminded me of my Grandmother.  She always used the terms “Decoration Day” and “Armistice Day” (which she pronounced ar-MIS-tuss).  Being something of a traditionalist (in some respects, at least) I’ve always been fond of those names.  Then again, I’m fond of the idea that those days should be important enough in our National Consciousness that they should warrant actual designated days (May 30th and November 11th would do nicely) instead of the most convenient nearby Monday.  Not that the powers that be would ever allow that to happen; it would be uncomfortable to have to acknowledge that “Memorial Day” is supposed to be about honoring the fallen and all that entails (like honor, duty, patriotism), and not merely a handy excuse for a 3 day weekend at the start of barbecue season.



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