Memorial Day

Memorial Day

The small town I grew up in was founded in the early 1700's. Pre-Revolutionary War - better known amongst my friends as the Shot-Heard-Round-the-World-War. A name that evoked a war worthy of Orson Wells. And predecessor in our minds to World War 1 and 2. (Rock solid logic of a 6-year old.)

Each Memorial Day, small American flags were placed on the graves of the veterans from wars past. Far too many wars, some of them now long forgotten. There were cast iron rods with stars set into the ground to hold the flags. I hope they haven't all been stolen by now. There was a problem with looting gravestones back in the 1980's. Antique dealers have no honor when it comes to the dead.

I can remember skipping through the wet grass of the cemetery to look at the flags and read the names on the gravestones. It took effort to watch out for dips and hollows where unsteady ground was evidence of a collapsed casket buried deep under ground.

The gravestones had lovely penmanship chiseled into the slate with winged smiling skulls of the late 1700's hovering over the deceased. The veterans names on the old stones sounded so exotic to me as a child, like Ebeneezer and Elijah. Far more interesting than their modern equivalents of Bob and Ben.

The Common, where a small group of veterans would form a line, salute and raise a flag, still held an old cannon. Yet another childhood plaything - sometimes a horse, sometimes a rocket. On occasion, someone would dig up an old cannonball somewhere - though a relic of what war was a mystery. The Revolution never did make it to our little corner of the world.

Those days, the flags would stay in the graveyard through July 4th. Somebody - I don't know who - collected the little flags shortly after Independence Day. Some things, even a kid could figure out, no one ever stole a flag.


Memorial Day Weekend

What is this holiday weekend of which you speak? Ah - Memorial Day! Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.1 First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War,2 it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.

Began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.3

Race cars and soldiers, and remembrance of those who we've lost, regardless.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks.


The Forgotten Veterans - Memorial Day

Once again Veterans are living with the apathy of the country they served!

Remember Agent Orange or the many other ailments and Government using Military Personal to test the effects from Nuclear Explosions and Drugs, probably not!

Look them up, or search out the Vets, using this technology, who are still trying to Educate you too!

Remember the 1st Gulf War?

How about the Veterans from, with questions about, their rapidly deteriorating health after serving, many having died since, coming under the obscure name of 'Gulf War Syndrom', look that one up as well!

Ilona meet Ilana, Ilana meet Ilona - Combat PTSD Research


Teen PTSD researcher Ilana Rice

Why do I get the feeling you two are destined to meet? And by all means don't change your first names!