Respect and Remembrance

Respect and Remembrance

Respect and remembrance–two important words that sum up the history of Decoration Days at cemeteries. 

The deck is wet with rain this morning, the morning is dark. A dove and a robin are trying to wake up the other birds with their songs, and I think back to yesterday and the annual observance of Decoration Day at the country cemetery where generations of ancestors are buried.

To me, traditions that honor past lives are important; so is passing down the stories of those lives to the next generation. My grandson heard some of those stories yesterday. There lay the ancestor who had fought in the Civil War and near-by, his wife and his mother. The great-grandparents who had come to Indian Territory from Georgia, the grandparents who had carved a thriving farm out of the fertile land along the Illinois River, the relative who, as a child, had come with his parents to the area around Siloam Springs while it was still wilderness. Then, the nearer family–the beloved nephew who lost his life in Viet Nam–so many people and so many stories. 

In this day when history is being changed, erased, or severely criticized, it’s important to know the truth and to keep it going. Every person who rests there lived, faced challenges, heartbreaks, hard decisions, joys, successes. They are the reason we are here today. We owe them respect and remembrance.

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