Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010

Can’t add much to what I’ve had to say on Memorial Days past:

Memorial Day, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation from the Military

Decoration Day

Other than to note that, last week – on a heat record breaking day – my cousin Barbara and I made our annual geranium-planting visit to the family cemeteries. Not only was it broiling, sunbakingly hot when we were doing our gardening – like mad dogs and Englishmen, we were out in the noon-day sun - but I was attacked by horse flies, and have numerous very itchy welts on my arms. (And I absolutely don’t want to think about what those horse flies were feasting on – other than my arms – that made them so plump. Surely, vaults and coffins not only keep the dead in but also keep the flies out…)

Naturally, “our” graves are in a shade-free part of the cemetery, and as we weeded and dug, we cast envious glances towards the cool and shady lane where our great-grandparents and a bunch of other sensible relatives are buried. Next time, we said, we’ll do our burying under the trees.

After we had finished planting, we strolled around the graveyard, which is small (it’s a parish, not a diocesan, cemetery) and, in our case, quite family oriented. We walked by the graves of lots of friends and relatives – close cousins we knew, distance relations we knew of, the family who lived in my grandmother’s decker – and noted how many of the graves were – this being Decoration Day – decorated with flags, put out by the American Legion or the VFW, in holders that indicate the war that someone served in.

We weren’t looking all that hard, but we found a Civil War vet, and veterans of the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II (including my father), Korea and Vietnam. No Afghanistan-Iraq vets that we saw, but fewer young folks go to war these days.  Unless you’re in them, they don’t make wars like they used to.

So here’s a nod to our veterans, and to those who are now in the service.


This is a shot of the hillside coming down from the Civil War monument in Boston Common. Some veterans group placed thousands of flags out, and the effect is quite beautiful. Needless to say, my B-berry shot doesn’t do it much justice, but I wanted to post it, anyway.

Happy Memorial Day!

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