It will be an early showing tomorrow at the local cemetery for the annual ceremony to have speeches, talk about traditions of the flag, solemnly raise and lower it to half-mast, fire the gun salute, and play taps in memory of all who have died and been killed while in service to the country. Volunteers will then place small flags on the graves of veterans. Three and four generations will share in the experience; some with loved ones in this cemetery; others there to honor veterans they have never known. Hubby is sometimes available for this as the much better photographer than me, and that’s the case tomorrow. He will capture the photos in a beautiful way and I’ll write the story that changes little year to year. The continuity is part of the story with some of the individuals having done this for decades. A friend commented Friday she will not go to this, but rather be out later to privately acknowledge her brother who did not return from Vietnam. Similar events will take place all over the country and at military cemeteries overseas. One of the final tasks of settling our father’s estate was to arrange for the marker from the Veteran’s Administration acknowledging his service in the Navy during WW II. He didn’t see combat in the Pacific as he entered toward the end of the war after the famous major battles. He served on a ship however transporting hundreds of thousands of munitions which were thankfully no longer needed. Some were sent to bases to restock; others returned to supply depots; some were carried out to be demolished. I assume the small town where he lived will have a ceremony; there wasn’t time last year after his passing to get the paperwork through to have the marker sent for installation.
After the solemn events, there will of course be cookouts and gatherings; the holiday also traditionally marking the beginning of summer despite the official calendar day being next month. Even our cold neighbors to the north will have trees leafing and blossoms opening and hopefully pleasant weather.