I wrote the following paragraphs about Memorial Day in a small town last year. Have a safe and fun Memorial Day!
There is a peony bush stranded under the magnolia tree on the east side of our house. It never grows very much, so I would like to transplant it to a better place. I love peonies. They remind me of growing up in a small, rural town in the 70’s. The buds are so nice and plump, and I remember little ants crawling all over them. The peonies would always be in bloom on Memorial Day, and my sister and I would go to the neighbor’s yard to cut the full, red blooms, wrap wet paper towels around the stems, and surround the paper towel with a plastic baggie. Then, my family would get in the car and drive out to the cemetery in the country. It was a beautiful cemetery, green and surrounded by trees. We would put the flowers and maybe a small flag on the graves of soldiers. People gathered around for a Memorial Day service. Veterans wore their uniforms. I can still hear the gun salute echoing among the gravestones, as we remembered those who gave their lives for our country.
I wonder if there will be a gathering at the cemetery outside of town on Monday. My family moved to the suburbs in the early 80’s, so I doubt my little brother and sister remember how we used to commemorate Memorial Day. Even with high gas prices, we will be visiting my parents this weekend. It will be a good time to ask my parents about this holiday when I was growing up, and add to the details of my childhood memory. My children are too young to understand what Memorial Day means, but maybe on Monday we’ll find a peony bush and a cemetery anyway.