First things first:
This is a day we typically celebrate with cookouts, visits to cemeteries to put flowers on the graves of our loved ones who died in battle somewhere, sometime, and build memories with family still living.
Since I am far away from graves of military men in my family, I will not be putting flowers on graves. I will not be gathering with other family, either, so it will be a relatively quiet day for me.
What about you? Will you be having a traditional Memorial Day?
Before I sign off for the day, I want to share some of a Memorial Day blog I wrote three years ago. At that time I thought it would be nice to meet veterans who are remembering their comrades who died in battle. We are quickly approaching the time when there will be no more WWII veterans, so I wanted to link to this story by Wes Venteicher in the Chicago Tribune about Bill Howland. He was a medic, even though he had no previous medical experience, which was common back then. He said he sometimes talks with local high school students during history units on World War II and 1940s Europe.
“I try to prevail upon them to implore our government to stay out of wars … we have more important things to do than shoot people up all over the world,” he said.
When I read that quote, I couldn’t help but think of this wonderful song by Pete Seeger: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” It’s one of my favorites, and we sang it a lot at hootenannies in the late ’60s. This link takes you to a rendition by Peter, Paul & Mary We have been lucky to have Peter Yarrow, one of the trio, here in my small town at the Winnsboro Center For the Arts. It was a thrill to sing along to this song with him just a couple of weeks ago.
In closing here is an interesting article from Samantha Grossman in Time Magazine, where she shares seven things we might not know about Memorial Day.
Whatever you are doing today, remember. Always remember.