Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We should all be giving a big THANK YOU to the men and women who died defending our country.

Memorial was a big thing when I was a little girl. Back then, it was celebrated on May 30 rather than the last Monday in May. And we didn't call it Memorial Day, but Decoration Day. We would all put on our Sunday best and pile into the car for a trip to the cemetery. Each family would decorate the graves of their ancestors and loved ones with fresh and artificial flowers. As I recall, it was mostly artificial flowers. And they weren't the silk flowers we have now.

These flowers were made by the women of the community. I remember 'carnations' made of facial tissue. They were easy to make and kept the kids occupied. One of our neighbors made beautiful flowers from various colors of crepe paper and then waxed them.

At the cemetery, the women would place the flowers on the graves while the kids played around the tombstones and the men stood in the shade talking. After the decorating part, the men set up tables from sawhorses and planks and the women brought out bowls and platters of food. Fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, beans, watermelon, fruit salad, pies, cakes and cobblers--all of it homemade and delicious.

We'd spend most of the day at the cemetery celebrating the freedom these men and women had given their lives to protect.

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