Sunday, May 25, 2014

Decoration Day

When I was a kid, we would often pack up the car and drive 4 hours to the country during long weekends. This was the place where my parents grew up. At that time, several members of their family including my two grandmas, still lived there. We would often go there for Memorial Day weekend. Only my parents called it Decoration Day. 

My parents would make a trip to the discount store, and then load the car with plastic wreaths and other flower arrangements.   Sometimes the fake flowers would share the backseat with me. I can still remember the way they smelled, laying there in their cardboard boxes. Not sweet like flowers are supposed to smell. More like dust and plastic.  Once we got to the country, we would hike up to an old cemetery, where my parents could place the plastic flowers on assorted graves of people I did not know. 

As a child, many things I did not understand we're frightening to me. This ritual was no exception.  This was very scary to me. I didn't like the muddy old country graveyard, I didn't  know the people in the graves, and I didn't know why we were putting the ugly plastic flowers there.

Today most people view Decoration Day or Memorial Day as a welcome holiday. The first work holiday since Christmas. A three day weekend to get together with family and friends, go to the lake, or have a back yard barbecue. Just be sure to take a moment this weekend to remember the fallen soldiers and the families they left behind. 

See, that's not so scary, Little Mary. 

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