The day is hazy and hot. We were cool in the house, but it is my daughter's last Memorial Day Parade, so we rush out the door. I told my husband where I'll park and when the parade starts. I always park at the end of the parade route in Kraynak's parking lot. The service is held in Hillcrest Cemetery.
I strolled over to the entrance, scoping out shaded areas, although, I planned to visit Grandma's and Aunt June's graves. They are buried beside each other, as Uncle Dale remarried. A wedding on Saturday and a storm yesterday prevented me from putting flowers in their vase. Both birthdays are in June, so I'll get them violet or lavender flowers for that month.
I walked through the cool grass and I hear, "Aunt Mollie" Jacob came running over to me with his shades on and red wet hair slicked back. I told him, I 'll join him after I visit my grandma's grave. He shouted it back to his mother.
I stand a few minutes examining the stones. Hazel A. Evans, Beloved Mother and June V. Cairns, She Never Hurt Anyone. I note the date of June's death- the month, day and year. I wasn't quite two. I keep thinking how Bruce always told my mother his mother's grave was across from Wendy's. Wendy's has left that side of State Street years ago. I can still see it in my mind.
I am always touched at the crowd applauding the veterans as they march up the hill around the corner into the cemetery. I think how Uncle Bill always marched in the Sharon parade when he lived here. I should visit his grave today, too, in Oakwood. Yesterday, I was at Haywood, looking at Mom and Dad's, Grandpa Evans and the Lewis grandparents. The stones are off kilter and Dan is calling the monument company. The white poinsettias pass the muster, until the stones are fixed.
The sun beats down and it is hot. The band got permission to wear their polo shirts, but still had black bibs on. They sat out in the sun. After the Star Spangled Banner, one girl passed out, carried into the shade.
We found the shade and with the mild wind, the heat did not bear down on us. I think there is not a more beautiful sound than those 444 flags flapping. I'm surprised, my daughter's called to read Flander's Field. Her clear little girl voice is poignant.
We are reminded of the origins of Memorial Day, that touches me. All soldiers were honored in 1867. As the kindness is reported, it spread over the country from Mississippi and called Decoration Day. I remember it being called that.
The two buglers echoed Taps. Solemnity as I stared at the Vietnam Wall replica. Over 3000 flags had been place on graves on this hollowed ground yesterday by the Boy Scouts and some football players.
The ceremony is over with a prayer from the Gettysburg Address. A C131 flew over as we were leaving about a thousand to fifteen hundred feet above us. A majestic unplanned ending.
Our civic duty to honor the dead. Take a moment to thank God for the service men who gave their lives for our freedom.