Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

It's Memorial Day in America. It's the unofficial start of summer; a time to:
  • Clog metropolitan roads with urbanites seeking relaxation in holiday traffic jams
  • Worry about rising gasoline prices
  • Listen to fishing experts on the radio discuss the relative merits of fly fishing and trolling
  • Remember
A few mini-micro-reviews:

"Memorial Day 2009 Parade"
WHIZ (May 23, 2009)

"This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and today hundreds of people lined the streets at Buckeye Lake for the annual community Memorial Day Parade.

"This was the fourth year for the event, which took place along Route 79...."

Buckeye Lake's Memorial Day parade stands out for me, since it's an annual observance that's just beginning. These things ebb and flow. The small town I live in doesn't have a parade, and the Kandi Klassic Morgan Show at the fairgrounds just isn't the same thing.

"Memorial Day History"

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.... While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966...."

"...Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery...."

Behind the traffic jams, fishing lures, and horse shows, there's a solemn event. The War Between the States is far behind us now, the American Legion has been running Memorial Day since World War I, and we're still discovering that freedom isn't free.

I wrote my take on Memorial Day a few years ago, for the Brendan's Island website.

I'll wrap up this post the same way I did then:

Carved on the tomb of explorer Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809):

Immaturus obi: sed to felicior annos
Vivemeos, Bona Republica! Vive tuos

(I died young; but thou, O Good Republic, be more fortunate,
Live out my years! Live your own.)

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