Remembering Decoration Day

On a day in May, when winter’s freeze gave way to thaw, the women collectively exhaled, and their paralysis gave way to grief. The spring sun emerged, and with it, the realization that their boys were not coming home to frolic under another summer sun.

The mothers and wives and daughters gathered at the solemn sites of their beloved, watering the land with their great tears. The sun shone down life, the gravesites were decorated in blooms, and another summer was born.

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The War between the States drew to a close. Families, communities, and the young country America, had been ravaged. Even those who had been victorious in battle, stood solemn in their glory.

It has been 148 years since the Civil War, and still, every May we gather to decorate the stones of our dead and to remember.

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I am driving through Nebraska where it is cool and drizzly and green. The inaugural summer sun is absent, along with the traditional Memorial Day backyard BBQs and bikinis.

I pull over at a site marked Paxton Cemetery: 1897 where American flags corral a gathering of headstones. They are decorated with prayers and flowers laid by loving hands.

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Happy Memorial Day America, I whisper. I will remember.

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