memorial day 2015

I am remembering those traditions passed down to me by my mother.Every year we would make our way to Barter Brothers Florist in Beverly Massachussetts. There we would find the cemetery baskets that we would place on the graves of our loved ones. It did not really “hit” me what it was we were actually doing at the cemetery until I was about ten years old.

That year I was old enough to place one of the baskets on my father’s grave. He had passed away when I was four. Along with the basket there was an American Flag. My dad had been in WWII. When he returned home and started his family, it was discovered that he had a problem with his heart. I remember it was the first time I had truly shed tears over this man that I did not ever really know.

At the cemetery that year I noticed some other graves near ours that my mom said belonged to our cousins. I asked her what war the American Flag represented for that grave. She told me it was my Great Great Uncle’s grave. He was a member of the 54th regiment of soldiers out of Massachussetts. My mom gave me a break down of how important this infantry was to the Civil War. And through my tear filled eyes I felt pride in my heritage. A heritage that is filled with brave men and women.

Some of these people had no idea that they were trailblazers in their own right. They considered themselves just ordinary citizens like you and I. But as time went on their contributions were counted along with the most famous. And collectively they effected great changes in our country.

These days you are not allowed to leave the Memorial Day flowers on your loved one’s grave for more than ten days. After that the ground keeping staff will come along and remove them before they mow. They use those ride on John Deer mowers. It all seems rather insensitive to me. But maybe we all are better off spending our time and money in remembering and honoring those who are in our past. Have a barbecue or get together and share those stories of relatives who have long passed. Instead of playing Candy Crush or Angry Birds engage your kids in conversation.

Today can be the beginning of your children’s memories. But this will only happen if YOU take charge and give them what they need for that to happen!! Let the memory making begin!!