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Memorial Day

I just wanted to write a quick note to remember the Memorial Days of my youth, in the early seventies. First of all, I remember them as cold days, often rainy, I would be out on my bicycle with a friend or two to see what was going on. School wasn't out yet, but you knew that summer would be there soon.

In Mancelona, MI in those days they had a little parade, a little ceremony at the cemeteries. The VFW would march. I seem to remember, maybe like 1973, that there were even a handful of veterans of WWI marching. The veterans, in uniform, would do a little salute and shoot off their guns. It was solemn and impressive. At the time, the WWI vets would have been like 80 years old. If the Wikipedia doesn't lie, in February of this year, the last veteran of WWI died. But I remember those guys.

Think about it: the Civil War now seems like ancient history, but when my parents were born, in the mid thirties, there were still veterans of the Civil War alive. Strange to suddenly call up distinct memories, forty years ago, of WWI vets at those Memorial Day ceremonies, now all of them long gone.

Another recollection is at the Catholic cemetery, towards Antrim, seeing the bugler, hidden behind some trees, playing taps. For some reason, they wanted the sound, but not the sight of the guy, probably the first-chair trumpeter in the high school band. But, surely straddling my bike from afar, I saw him.

I couldn't really appreciate the idea of Memorial Day, just sort of absorbed it.



May 2019



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