thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

May 25 podcast

podcast logo   “This was their second trek to the cemetery that day;  they had already been there as the sun came up to place small flags on the graves of veterans who had served in various wars, many of them their comrades in WWII….So it is, as I recall the Memorial Days of my past, the annual day we set apart to remember loved ones, to decorate their graves, and consider all those past generations, I want my children and grandchildren to also know what this day meant to me as a child.”   Listen here for this week’s podcast entitled “Remembering and Honoring Past Generations.”

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  Susie wrote @

Listening to this podcast brought back memories for me, also, of playing in the band for our community Memorial Day ceremony. The morning’s event of the 60’s and 70’s seemed more elaborate than those of present day. The Remembrance would start at the town square, then we’d march down the street quite a ways to Greenwood Cemetery. With a band director who loved Sousa, I’ve played the Washington Post March and Stars and Stripes Forever more times than I can count! And being a drummer I had the band-aid wrapped, blistered fingers as a lingering reminder…ouch!

Before the years I was in the band, my brother marched in the front row with his trombone, so my family attended such events for years. It’s just something we did.

You never forget the piercing loud crack of the shotgun salute (as a child my litte girl heart would race wildly with near fear!) or the solemn sounds of Taps…first played by the forefront trumpeter, then echoed by the hidden bandsman in the rear of the cemetery. It put a lump in the throat of most everyone, I’d say.

After we went home to hang up the band uniform and change to play clothes, we’d get in the car and head west about 15 minutes to both of our family cemeteries: Wiley and Zion. I often put our little dog on a leash to come, too.
Mom always called it Decoration Day (she still does) and she put the decorations she had made, not bought, on the six graves of the closest family members. As a little kid I would just run around the cemetery checking out the fanciest gravestones or swing on the large iron gate at the entrance.

The past two years it has instead been my turn to place the still-homemade-decorations of my mom on the family graves, the number now at seven with the passing of my dad. Mom still has not visited the site or had a gravestone placed. However since my dad was a WW2 veteran, there is a military marker placed at his grave. This year it was adorned with two American flags, two sets of flowers placed by Dad’s siblings, a cross, and a wooden sunflower specially made by my mom.

My own children are now too old to run around the cemetery or swing on the iron gate. Since my son has more strength than I have, he takes care of pounding the decorations in the sometimes hard, stubborn earth…secure enough to withstand the elements for another year. I take a towel and respectfully wipe away the dirt and debris from around my dad’s name and the rest of the marker. We stand back to remark how nice it looks, ….then we leave.

Once a year we have made it our practice to honor those family members in this way who have passed on before us. I think those who don’t live near family gravesites are missing out on this combination of duty and privilege. I hope my kids are taking notes.

Susie

  thatmom wrote @

Susie,

Thanks for sharing your memories. My mom didn’t want to go this time, I am not sure why. I think it is more difficult all the time for her to even get out of the house, as she doesn’t like to unless she has a doctor’s appointment. I like to walk around the cemetery and look at the graves that are new since last year. Having spent nearly all of my life within this 15 miles radius, I know so many of those who are now gone.

Hey, I am also glad you are able to get the podcasts now! Welcome to my blog!

[...] You also might want to listen to the May 2007 Memorial Day podcast I did entitled Honoring and Remembering Past Generations. [...]


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