In Photo: Owen D. Young Central School in VanHornesville, NY
This weekend I am thankful not only for those that have served, but also for the opportunity to be a part of a special Memorial Day tradition for 13 years. (see link below and play video)
This tradition instilled in me a great sense of pride from a very young age and I’m so glad the tradition continues.
- I remember the dew still on the grass as we went outside to pick those lilacs and daffodils and wrapped the stems in wet paper towels and then in foil.
- I remember holding those flowers so carefully as we rode over those bumpy back roads all the way to school.
- I remember laying the flowers on the sundial in front of our school.
- I remember the seriousness of the assembly as the poems (such as In Flanders Fields: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm) were recited; and the names of those lost were read.
- I remember gathering on the school’s front lawn for a small flag ceremony.
- I remember lining up with our classes to march to the cemetery.
- I remember the drum corps proudly playing for the march down the road.
- I remember the silent walk up the path to the cemetery.
- I remember the seniors laying all those flowers on the graves while the names were being called.
- I remember Taps being played in the cemetery and then hearing the echo down the hill.
- I remember the seniors giving the kindergarten class some flowers to throw in the water at the bridge for their own little memorial.
- I remember the afternoon was full of celebration as there were many games and activities planned. Students and even Faculty competed in light-hearted games of softball or Izzy Dizzy or Water Balloon Toss….
But even though the afternoon was full of fun, it was in celebration of the lives that were lost. Their sacrifices were not forgotten and will never be forgotten. I still get goosebumps when I think of my youngest sister playing Taps at the cemetery in the honor of all of the men and women that sacrificed for our country. May they always be remembered and honored in this special way.
My thanks go up to all those that served and made the ultimate sacrifice and my thoughts go out to your families.
I invite you to leave a comment and share your Memorial Day traditions.