Monday, May 25, 2009


This is Ole E Olson, Tom's great great grandfather who fought in the Civil War. The picture was taken in 1861.

Memorial Day was set aside during the Civil war to decorate the graves of the soldiers. It is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

The difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day in November is simple. Memorial Day honors the fallen; Veteran's Day is for the living. We can agree, both are for the sacrifice, can we not?

Each year around Memorial Day, Veterans of Foreign Wars members and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers distribute millions of bright red poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. The program provides multiple benefits to the veterans and to the community. The hospitalized veterans who make the flowers are able to earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits as well. Donations are used exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families. The poppy also reminds the community of the past sacrifices and continuing needs of our veterans. The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars. Sad to say, I have found no one selling poppies this year.

Speaking of poppies, I remember when they were made of crepe paper and if they got wet, the red coloring would run. Daddy always put him on his shirt's button hole. By such a simple gesture, he honored the men and women who had defended our America.

My Grandmother always went to the cemetery on Declaration Day. Not that she had family that died in battles, rather to honor her family who had deceased. At that time, live flowers were planted as the dirt on the grave was kept grass less. That as changed, hasn't it? Now the flowers are silk or plastic and will be removed completely for mowing.

If one goes to rural cemeteries this time of year, you will see artificial flowers in a wreath style as well as little flags on the graves of all members of any branch of the service. Imagine how breath taking a national cemetery is this time of the year.

Day is done

Gone the sun

From the lakes

From the hills

From the sky.

All is well,

Safely rest

God in nigh.


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