This blog was formerly titled "Sentiments and Scrapbooks."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day 2017–Cemetery Visits {HeartStrings}

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Russell’s mom and dad are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery,
Jefferson City, MO.

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My mother and daddy are buried at Enloe Cemetery, Russellville, MO. I love it that at this cemetery, for Memorial Day, they place American flags on the graves of all veterans (Daddy served in the Army Air Corps in World War II.)

From the time I was a little girl, I remember hearing my Mamo Wilson (my father’s mother) talk about "taking flowers to the cemeteries." Then, in recent years, my Aunt Wanda told me about how she remembered her mother (Mamo Wilson) "loading up the wagon, pulled by horses, to take fresh flowers all around to all the cemeteries where her family members were buried."

My mother always made sure Daddy's grave (and later, Melody’s) was decorated with flowers for Memorial Day. He passed away 25 years before she did. My baby sister Melody passed in 2001, and her marker is beside theirs.

I didn't pay so much attention to the Memorial Day tradition until after Mother died. But now that my husband and I are both orphans, we try to take flowers every Memorial Day if we are close enough to get to the cemeteries (about 2 hours away from our MO home). We just got back a while ago from our trip there today.

From my "old" memories, I remember it was called Decoration Day. And to add to the confusion, some people think Memorial Day is the same as Veteran's Day (a day to honor veterans). So I looked it up (again) at history.com: "Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season."

Of course, we know that the grave is only an earthly representation, and that our folks are in their heavenly home. We decorate their graves as a show of respect for their lives, and to keep their memories alive in our hearts.