While many are out on the boat this weekend, having picnics, gathering with friends, enjoying the time off and not thinking much if at all about the reason for the extra day off …
Many others will be gathering in cemeteries throughout the nation .. placing flags .. thinking about the reasons for the holiday weekend and remembering loved ones who gave the ultimate gift of sacrifice.
I remember well, marching across the street from Poynette High School when I was young with a group from the band. Standing there in the heat while names of the service men and women from our area who had been killed in action or who had passed, were read. Listening to a speaker reflect on the reason we were all there and for the day. Wincing while the gun salute was fired.
Everyone would stand around and talk for a few minutes afterwards, catch up .. and see who was heading over to the chicken barbecue at the VFW.
“We’ll see you in a few minutes ..” mom and dad would always tell friends.
But every year before we’d go, we would always stop by the headstones of family members also gone .. veteran or otherwise, we would tell stories or talk a little about who they were and make sure all the relatives had fresh flowers on their graves.
Geraniums were always part of the mix. I never understood why. But red geraniums were always planted up the cemetery.
I was never a big fan of them, that is until after mom passed .. but I love them now. Because, I would assume, they remind me of her.
It’s hard to see, but there’s one in there. My daughter and I took flowers up to my mom’s grave last weekend, as I was headed to the Cowboy’s for the Memorial Holiday weekend. And she this year has the weekend with her dad.
Mom always loved fresh flowers and being in the garden during the spring, summer and fall. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t silly to spend time around the gravesite and feel close to her in some small way there.
But she is with me all the time.
I guess fresh flowers next to her grave, or any others who are family or friends .. sometimes I know of people who place flowers or a flag at the headstone of a stranger .. Memorial Day weekend or otherwise, I just think it’s one small way to show they haven’t been forgotten..