Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Lately, the Memorial Day holiday has been known as the kick-off to the summer. We understand it to be just another day off from work, time for a short vacation, sales at the mall or the family barbecue get-together.
From Wikipedia, here's the description of the Memorial Day Holiday: Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 31 in 2010). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.
During the early 1980's I lived on Sepulveda Blvd. near Montana Ave., just north of the Los Angeles National Veteran's Cemetary in Westwood. One year on Memorial Day, I walked with a few neighbors down to the Cemetary to see if one of the military bands was performing. On this particular soldiers' holiday, Boy Scouts had placed small flags on every single grave in the cemetary. There are 116 acres of marble headstones. Westwood is the largest veteran's cemetery outside Arlington National Cemetary in Virginia. Needless to say, all of those thousands of little flags waving in the wind was a sobering, but magnificent sight. There wasn't a band playing that day, just many soldiers and families of military men and women paying their respects.
Photo by Ralph Morris, 1952. L.A. Public Library Photo Archive
This coming Memorial Day, I plan to take a minute to remember this image from my visit to the Veteran's Cemetary years ago, before firing up the grill.

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At 5:32 PM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

At 8:30 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. My grandfather is buried in this cemetery. A few years ago I came home to LA to visit family and happened upon this cemetery. I thought it looked like the one I remembered from Grandpa's funeral when I was a girl in 1963. I went into the admin office and inquired. They went through a very old card file (no computers) and located his grave for me. I felt very moved to visit his grave after so long. And I doubted that he'd had a visitor in many years. Thank you for mentioning this cemetery. It's like someone is visiting him and that is a very nice thing. Linda

At 10:43 PM PDT, Blogger Natalie said...

This is a very nice reminder of what Memorial Day stands for and not just a day off of work.

Thank you.

At 5:09 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memorial Day is special to me for alot of reasons. As a retired AF wife I hold it very dear for obvious reasons. Also I got married on Memorial Day 39 years ago!

At 10:12 AM PDT, Blogger Beth McDermott Oliver said...

Whenever I see the Veteran's Cemetery I get that same feeling in my stomach that one gets in the car when going over a dip in the road. I just can't wrap my mind around the number of heroes buried there.

At 3:20 PM PDT, Blogger LINDA said...

Thank you for sharing!


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