Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day and Family Visits

I admire the two rows of American flags erected along the entrances to my subdivision today. As a young girl, today was the day my family visited Calvary Cemetery to plant geraniums on my uncle's and later my grandmother's grave. My uncle was killed in Saipan during the Second World War Marine invasion of the South Pacific. I visited his grave on April 20 so that will have to count for this Memorial visit.

My research led me to find out more about the history of Memorial Day and I discovered this web site http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html . A return to the roots and original observance of the day is needed. Unfortunately, in our corporate driven, dividend driving, give it all for the bottom line lifestyle, the brief 3 day reprieve from work becomes almost a day of relaxation, but in practice a day of playing catch up on household chores and conversation. My mother, who turned 80 years young earlier this month, has been the impetus for me to re-ignite memories with the 100 year Centennial Celebration of the birth of John Wayne. How all American can one get?

Yet, with all of the relocations across the country, it is unlikely many families are able to visit the sites of their relatives who have been lost in service. I cannot be at all of the gravesites today. However, the idea of the National Moment of Rememberance at 3 pm rings true to me.

When I lived in Tennessee, I had the opportunity to visit the Grotto at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis twice on Memorial Day weekends. It is the creation of Dionico Rodriguez who used cement and crystals to artistically build dioramas of Biblical scenes. The peaceful entryway with Abraham's Oak is a welcome repreive. The pictures on this website give you an idea but cannot do justice to the beauty of the place. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/map/tn.html. My father loved this place and I loved to be with him there. Today I remember my father, a Navy veteran of WWII, and his brother. That is my Memorial Day tribute.

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