It’s easy to forget why we have days off. Memorial Day is an ironic day’s reason to forget, but still, there were headstones in the cemeteries we visited today on which no flowers lay. Were these people forgotten? Are their families no longer living? Are they simply too far away to honor the dead?
I wanted to brush up on my own Memorial Day knowledge, so I did a little research online. This story from CNN gives a concise overview of the history of Memorial Day. Take a look.
Among other things I learned reading was that the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery was identified as a St. Louis, Missouri-born pilot. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier now lays empty, and the soldier is buried somewhere in St. Louis. I learn something new about my hometown and my home state all of the time.
My parents and I visited the cemeteries today where my paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother are buried. One of the cemeteries we visited was in Madison County, Missouri, an area hit especially hard by the May 8th storms.
We drove through Fredericktown, a town that I spent a good deal of my childhood in, and I was taken aback at the damage remaining even now, more than two weeks after the storm. More on that later.
For now, I’m thankful to be back in this small town, where I was able to go with my family to honor my grandfather, a WWII veteran, and my grandmothers. I’m thankful that my brother, my grandfather, and so many more like them who have made careers of service. I’m not very patriotic by nature, but I realize that without our military, this would be a very different country to call home.