In small towns all across the country, they will celebrate Memorial Day in one way or another.
In the town where I grew up it’s a big deal. The Boy Scouts come and put up the flags to line the small single lane roads leading up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier the day before and the lights in the cemetery stay on all night so the flags are lit. They put out a marker with every veteran’s name beneath the flags. It is a sombering sight to see those flags blowing in the breeze and those markers.
Years ago, they offered families the opportunity to buy a brick that would have the names of their loved ones, what branch of the service they were in and their rank, and what war they fought in. Our family has five bricks; and thankfully all but one of those veterans came home from the service.
They also go through the cemetery and place a flag on every tombstone of those veterans, and even the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary get a flag. There are two flags on my parents stone, one for each and that makes me so proud.
The VFW members come out and conduct a memorial service and lay wreaths at the foot of the Unknown Soldier Monument. The local high school band plays patriotic music and then play Taps followed by the gun salute, which always makes me jump out of my skin.
I can’t wait to go again this year. It’s a wonderful way to say thank you for your service.