Friday, May 25, 2012
Memorial Day continues to have special meaning for me. I love going to Austin, my home town, to see the flag raising, the parade, the ceremony at the cemetery, and to put flowers on my mom and dad's graves. Jerry and Janet come, as well as Peder, Sarah, Aurelia, Felix and now this year, Leo. We see other family members there and dear friends. It's a special time. This year our cousins Pat and Linda are joining in on the events of the day, so I'm looking forward to that.
This year, as was last, is a day when the passing of my Aunt Liz is felt deeply. Oh, I have been lonely for her since she died, but it feels especially fresh on this weekend. Sunday we cousins will gather at her, Uncle Vic and Wayne's graves to commemorate them. It will be my first time back to their cemetery since Aunt Liz's memorial service.
I want to share with you part of a message my Aunt Ginny sent today:
I am reminded of Memorial Day they way we used to celebrate it. Liz and Pat, sometimes Tony Dadey, always came down to Lake Crystal with lots of flowers to put on our parents and other relatives graves, like Aunt Ett and Uncle Johnnie. We tried to meet and then ended up with a picnic at the park in Lake Crystal. Liz would then go on to New Ulm to visit the Reed family graves. I think the men had gone up North to fish!
I guess Memorial Day was celebrated then for the reason for the day, to remember those killed during wars, and also to remember family members that have died. There was always a program, included marching bands, that ended at the lake and wreaths were placed in the water as names were read of military men that were killed in different wars. Lake Crystal still has a program similar, not sure if they have a parade. I think Austin does too. I seem to remember that the Kiewatts always went to the 15 minute parade, I believe that is what they called it. We met them at Austin one year when we were in Lake Crystal so we could visit Dorothy and Art's graves.
Now I think Memorial Day seems to be the first get away for the weekend day, at least in the Chicago area by listening to the traffic report. I know times do change but as we get older we seem to remember happier times.
I want to take this time to say how thankful I am for the men and women who over the years have fought for the freedom of our country. I salute you!