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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.



{ 1 } Comments

  1. Rat Jr.No Gravatar | May 29, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I miss going out with Grandma and Grandpa to the cemeteries. I got to hear stories about the area and family. I enjoyed the somber peace of visiting the grave yards, and remembering. There was always history, connection, and windy quiet, attached to a sense of presence. It was a day of family remembrance for me as kid and as I got older and could appreciate the other connotation of the day, it became even more important.

    Since I am far from home, I had I wanted to head up to Loon Lake this weekend- not to bbq and party, but to go somewhere I knew Grandma and Grandpa had been. I wanted to see what they had seen and, because I am what I am, have a small, quiet moment to send out thanks to ancestors and those who have served the nation. We didn’t make it on the day. We were too tired and with gas having gone up and bills to pay, it wasn’t in the budget. Soon, though. And there is a little, out of the way cemetery not too far from here that doesn’t get too many visits, I might go out there for a bit.

    Also, Amanda said they had a fundraising and donation drive at her work for homeless Veterans. She became frustrated when they were asking for tents and sleeping bags. Our city has installed a new “no camping” ban wherein if you see someone camping, you’re to call the police and said law enforcement will come and escort the camper to a homeless shelter unless the shelters are at capacity. It’s the dumbest thing. First they ran everyone out from around the river, then from the park. Businesses downtown require purchases to use the bathroom or have no public bathrooms at all. Bus stop benches have arm rests so no one can lay down on them and they’ve been running everyone out from under the bridges and installing stuff to make so no one can lay down, all the while forgetting that that could be them. Okay, I will get off my soap box. Any way it is just so frustrating. It;s like “here, take this tent and sleeping bag. Thanks for your service, now get out or go to your designated location, you aren’t fit to be seen.” (Yes, I know not all homeless are vets, but a lot of them are.)

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