Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - 2011

The morning started out cloudy and threatening of rain. Didn't matter. I still attended the very fun, patriotic and neat parade right here in the villages of Mahtomedi and Willernie. It starts out with American Legion carrying the flags. Then the Mahtomedi fire trucks (which turned out to be about 5) and the ambulance. Of course, the girls scouts and boy scouts are there in all their glory proudly wearing their uniforms and passing out flags and candy. There is the yellow ribbon group which is quite impressive. The Mahtomedi High School band playing all the patriotic songs. The Auxiliary ladies selling poppies. There is more that I fail to mention because I cannot remember. I really like this small home town parade. It makes one proud. It is fun seeing neighbors and friends and people you have not seen for awhile.

Then everybody gathers around the flag pole. Pledge of Allegiance is recited. A welcome by Commander of Legion post Ken Lohr (some of you may remember that he was married to our dear friend Judy) Star Spangled banner is played and the flag is raised and then lowered to half mast. None other than our famous Gemma Barry decked out in her Legion Axillary hat with all her buttons and metals gave the invocation. She did a heck of a job. The man behind me said "she has a bit of brogue." A Memorial Day address by a colonel. It was moving and touching. America the Beautiful is played. Mayor of Mahtomedi-Jud Marshall says a few words. Band plays the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Then they start a medley of all the military songs while the girl scouts place flags on the crosses in front of all the local men & women who have served and are now deceased. Silent prayer. My Country Tis of Thee is played. Benediction by the famous Gemma Barry. 21 gun salute and then Taps which is echoed from a distance. It was wonderful.

When I was young almost every Memorial Day we would go to Lake Crystal, MN and plant flowers at my maternal grandparents grave and then go for a picnic with the cousins and aunts & uncles. I also remember going with my dad to get flowers and we would go to his sister's grave to plant. The flowers were always very unpretentious. Just something simple. Dad would usually always pick pansies and we would try to find the prettiest one. I always liked Memorial Day (and I do remember when it was called Decoration Day.)

Every Memorial Day it was always important for Mom to get to the cemetery to plant on Dad's, Wayne's and baby Alex grave. She would go buy the plants and then we would go out there. I would plant and she would tell me exactly what to do. Now I have to sadly take over. I don't mind. I really find it very comforting to plant the simple flowers. Pansies for dad. I did not get any pictures of Wayne's or baby Alex but we also planted there.
Watering the flowers that were just planted on Mom's grave.

Job done. It took some work because Pudge & I had to dig it all out and we only had the little hand shovels. After the head stone gets put in we will fix it like Dad's. There is a white geranium, pink impatiens, white alyssum and a few pansies.

Dad's grave. He got the yellow pansies and some red impatiens and white geranium.

Watering the flowers on Dad's. Mom's little garden is on my left.

This is the sign with all the names of the local military who are deceased. I zeroed in on Wayne's name.
Gemma Barry giving the invocation. She did an excellent job. Made us all proud.
The start of the parade--down Mahtomedi Avenue and around the corner to the triangle.
Gemma with her 2 granddaughters--Amaya and Gabbie.
The crosses in front of the sign with the flags.

1 comment:

  1. What a perfect day! I was so happy to read your account and see the pictures. I thought about you on Monday and wondered how you were doing. I'm sure it wasn't easy. I miss Aunt Liz so much!