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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

A-Pass-Along (The Real Meaning of Memorial Day)

This "Pass-Along" is from Diane Waugh Oliver

The Real Meaning of Memorial Day - Editorial
Source: Bay Weekly Online Vol. 10, No. 21 May 23-29, 2002

Decoration Day was the name our grandparents called May 30, and the friendliness of carrying garden peonies and roses to our relatives down the road took the terror out of cemeteries. The weather was usually grand, the flowers sweet, and the children got to know their elders not only by the stories told coming and going but also by direct graveside address. We furthered the acquaintance by tiptoeing among the mounds, careful not to offend the dead by tromping on their bones, as we made up the rest of stories suggested by name, date and inscription.

But that was long ago. Decoration Day has since become Memorial Day, and was then moved from May 30 to the more convenient last Monday in May. Now it stands as little more than the symbolic gateway to summer.

The year behind us makes a good case for reviving the old custom of honoring our dead heroes.

Originally, of course, Decoration Day was devoted to the young men who died in Americas many wars. The dates on their tombstones were poignantly short, and even if we didn't know them and were too young to know those wars ourselves, we shed tears for the brevity of those young men's live.


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