Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

I reread this memorial day blog this morning- thinking I would find some inspiration to write a new sentiment for this day.
I couldn't.  So instead with Debbie's permission I added pictures of
 a few dear loves we miss every day. 
When I was so much younger Memorial Day meant a day off of school, kind a jumping off point for Summer fun.  I am older now, life is a little more serious and I am grateful for this date when we once again honor those that have gone on before us.  This day helps me remember how futile it is to struggle with one another instead of savoring every minute.  Walking the trail of this life together is the gift.  I hope you are enjoying yours.
Maude Aurelia Fauson, she left us in June 2005.  We miss her every day and treasure every memory of her. 
Billy Ray Rushton  went to heaven, December 2005.  He was and is an inspiration to all of us.  A Dad, husband, brother, and friend.
Pamela Ann Jordan Whinnery - wonderful mother, sister, daughter and friend.  We miss her very day.

I asked Debbie if she would please let me write the post for Memorial Day.  There are many ways we remember those who died for our country.  I will first post the traditional Memorial Day history, and then post some of the pictures I have taken at the National Cemetery in Covington Washington and other places.

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: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

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. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

all along the roads leading to the entrance are signs that say "Hero's Sleep Here".  I think it says everything.
That these soldiers gave their time and some their lives for us.

Obviously I could go on and on.  There are not enough words to describe this beautiful resting place.

Please consider a visit to honor these sleeping heroes.

This was taken at one of the other local cemeteries.

 Most Americans use this day to remember loved ones that are no longer here with them. When we were kids probably in grade school.  One of our activities was to go to a little cemetery in Spanaway.  We would clean the grave stones and weed and water the plants that were there.  Sometimes if there had been a funeral recently and there seemed like lots of flowers we would take some of them and put them on the older graves that no one visited.

One in particular was Violet Cox's grave.  She was two years old when she died.  Her grave was next to a huge fir tree.  I always tried to do a little extra around her  resting place.  She died in the early 1900's.
I went to the cemetery today and found her grave a picture follows.

I wonder now what people must have thought driving by and seeing three or four kids messing around in the grave yard.
They were special times shared by my brothers and sisters.  I will never forget them.
Debbie added a PS about the old pump we used for water, it is there too.
Here is a picture of it:

I have many heroes I have lost along the way, I will remember and honor them this day for the impact they had on my life.  



  1. Oh what a beautiful post....I love the history lesson...I learned a few things there, and how I remember us being in charge of cleaning the cemetary and watering plants with the old water pump...

  2. I, as well loved reading about Memorial Day in more detail. Learned more, and am always loving that! I do remember many times gathering flowers and putting them into canning jars, all of us loading into the car and heading down the hill. The cemetery always seemed so quiet, and we loved looking for the faucet nearby to put water in the jars, placing the flowers on relatives' grave sites, cleaning and tidying, and also rolling down the hill. . . and all of the "old glories" blowing in the wind!!!