Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Memories

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. My mother would take my grandmother, my uncle and me to the family spot in the country cemetery to weed and leave flowers on the graves of our relatives. Usually other families were there tending to the plots of their kin also. Mom, Grandma and Uncle Glen would reminisce about those that were buried there. The memories were of service in wars and family lore.

The first person of my age that I lost was a sweet boy named Eddie. He loved his horse and would sometimes give me rides. He never teased me or pulled on my pigtails. I always thought Eddie would be an important man when we grew up. He died in Vietnam.

My family moved to a new city right before my Junior year in high school. Jeff, a Senior, was in the school band with me and we would play the piano together before the start of practice and during breaks. I was fascinated with him because he could play Dave Brubeck 'by ear.' He was fascinated with me because I could read Brubeck's music. He was another sweet boy lost in Vietnam.

My Uncle Marvin served in the Army during WWII. I still have a picture of him in uniform with his skis. No smile. And no tales of his duty. Just that he was on ski patrol. He has never spoken of what he and others endured during his service.

My brother served as a Marine in Vietnam. He doesn't discuss it either.

My son was in Desert Storm and again in Iraqi Freedom. He has shared some of his experiences, some dire and some more lighthearted.

I am grateful for the service my kin and others have performed in duty to my country. Thank you

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