Memorial Day Weekend...the older I get, the more it seems to mean to me. I'm not referring to the BBQing and getting together with family and friends. No, just remembering those no longer with us--family, friends, and those who served this country.
As a kid I used to hate going to the cemetery up in Leavenworth (Lansing technically). Most of Mom's family there were folks I had never met...until I got a bit older, and then some I knew were buried there--my aunt, my uncle, my cousin. And as I grew older, I began to go up on my own. I wouldn't take flowers--peonies are pretty but I hate the ants the draw. Instead I would grab some fries at the McD near by, and head over to Muncie. Mount Muncie cemetery butts up against part of the Leavenworth VA and military cemetery there. I'd wander over to the family plot, eat my fries and say "hi" to the dead folks, and enjoy the shade and beauty of the place. Sometimes I'd wander the grounds, looking at the oldest stones. There are some interesting ones there--follow the link and you can read about them.
Eventually I would wander over to the military cemetery, and ponder what it all means. If you've never been to a military cemetery, you should go some time, and look, and think. Not every one there died in combat, but ALL served in some fashion. (And yes, I consider those spouses buried with their servicemember to have served in their own way too.) Did you know that the graves of those servicemen who received the Medal of Honor are all marked with a small plaque? You can wander around, looking for those particular gravesites, and read a small summary of their actions.
Leavenworth National Cemetery
Tomorrow, my husband and my son will go to DFW National Cemetery, with the Scouts, and they will participate in setting flags on all the graves. I am really happy and proud that our CubScouts will be doing this.
Turns out my husband was ill last night and was not able to attend. So I went with our son instead. Here are a few pictures from our efforts to honor those at rest in DFW National.
This year, my mom went up to Muncie, and got some fries, when she went to visit the graves. She did it, because I couldn't be there myself, living 9hrs away as I do... Then she went off to the local cemetery, where her husband, my Dad, is buried. For Dad, she took red roses. He always liked roses. Me? I won't be up there until this fall, but then, maybe I will go visit Dad, and have a french fry sandwich*! He'd have laughed at that, and probably wanted one too.
Have a happy, and thoughtful Memorial Day Weekend everybody. I'll be grilling Sunday and Monday, but I won't forget the WHY of this holiday.
* Take an order of fries, 2 slices white bread and some A-1 steak sauce. Put the fries between the slices of bread, and add some A-1, and salt if you need it.