Memorial Day is a Federal Holiday in the US for remembering and honoring military who died in the service of their country, with an emphasis on those who died in battle, or injuries received. There are ceremonies that pay tribute to the men and women, laying flowers at their graves, and leaving a prayer behind. We pay tribute by laying flowers and saying prayers at the graves, I am sure this is where the original name of the day came from, Decoration Day.
Today the family drove over to Arlington National Cemetery to pay our respect and lay some flowers on gaves that are special to us. It is an honor to be able to live close enough and do this. Our nation's dead have been buried here, since the Civil War, which was fought from April 12, 1861 to May 9, 1865. Some of the graves were reinterred dead from an earlier battle.
With each soldier that is buried here at Arlington Cemetery, they are given a funeral with military honors and a flag that is folded during the service. There is also a 21 gun salute which I cannot watch while being done. It is both personal and gives me goosebumps - when you go home, you take that memory with you.
We laid flowers at the graves, enjoying the beauty of the day. I look around and see other families doing much the same. It was a quiet few moments and I was glad we came. With or without the personal connection, Arlington is a worthy visit. The endless markers with the names engraved always makes me remember the realities of war.
Then, there was the parade today. I guess I am not really going in order. Does it matter? Probably not. For the first time since 2019, the Memorial Day Parade marched down Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. There was a banner crowd today, having missed our parades for a couple of years. It was a warm one today!
Truly, not in order, but, I am getting the majority of my day in. It was a busy day, I will admit to that! We meandered over to the Vietnam War Memorial.
On November 11, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed, ten years after the end of the bitter and divisive Vietnam War that tore the United States apart. After ten years of shame, anger, and painful fights over US participation in the Vietnam War, the sacrifice and courage of the soldiers who fought were finally to be recognized and remembered. Speaking at the wall for a Veterans Day ceremony, President Reagan declared, “The night is over. We see these men and know them once again and know how much we owe them, how much they’ve given us, and how much we can never fully repay” source
It was many years back that I came upon this memorial for the first time, this wall of strangers. I return to the wall, time and time again, and quietly look over the 58,209 names inscribed. There is so much gratitude on my part, for their many sacrifices, for their enormous losses, for the chance to see, firsthand, in fact, the cost of war…. To count these names, not by the thousands that were up there, but to recognize them one by one by one. Who were these men? No longer strangers to me, for now, they are connected with a name…
It was a full day, but we managed to do most of the things that we set out to do. It was more crowded than I wanted it to be, but I expected that would happen. Rolling Thunder came back to town, after being unceremoniously unwelcomed. It is always good to see them!
Happy Memorial Day!
(¸.•´♥ (¸.•´ ♥
All I have are my words, armed in my mind, written in pen, stand by stand. Oh, yes. Still by hand. It has a different feel. Altered not by keys, backspace, and delete, I write, erase, tear it to pieces and start all over again. And again.
It’s my way. I walk out to the deep end of the page and dive right in.
they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?
i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
"where does it hurt?"
#TeamUSA is a growing community of quality-content people from the United States or those living here. Check us out on Discord!
*Some parts of this post were previously posted.