Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Day signals start of summer, but also bears a solemn meaning

Here comes Memorial Day weekend, the first long holiday for the summer. Isn’t it great?

By now you have probably made lots of plans. The camp is open; the boat is in the lake; the garden is planted.

Outdoor grills have been out since March, along with the picnic tables and chairs

The deck is cleaned and you can sit back and enjoy a holiday weekend.

Memorial Day is still an old-fashioned holiday where the ones who have died are remembered and the holiday is celebrated much as it was a hundred years ago.

The festivities begin with the parade in which all of the armed forces are represented and politicians make speeches. All of the veterans’ graves are clearly marked with American flags and cemeteries are all mowed and spruced up for the occasion.

People who have moved away make the trip back to their hometown to take part in the celebration or to decorate the burial places of their loved ones. It is a time when folks who are visiting the cemetery run into former neighbors and it’s just like “old home week,” catching up with old friends.

Fortunately in Canastota we have two veterans’ organizations, the Charles Miller Post No. 140 American Legion and the VFW Post No. 600 that organize a parade and prepare a ceremony at our veterans’ memorial in Clark Park.

There are speakers and the placing of flags representing all the persons from our community who sacrificed their lives to keep our country free.

Our community is fortunate in having these veterans’ groups that perform so many ceremonies at various occasions.
They are always so willing to assist when called upon to help in the community.

So, this weekend your neighbors will have the pool filled to capacity, the grill will be going full steam, the sound system will have music playing the latest tunes and the young people will be enjoying themselves.

The seniors will be watching them enjoying their activities.

Mom and Dad will be doing most of work, running back and forth to the house, standing over the grill and being sure everyone is happy and safe.

Mom or Grandma will be looking after the smaller children, seeing to it that the little ones have their swim suits on and, once in the water, keep watch of them.

But did you ever know a two- or three-year-old who once in the water had to go to the bathroom so out they would come and on the way see the hot dogs on the griddle and would want one of those and wouldn’t go back in the pool again even though that was all they wanted to do originally?

Have a great time and a safe Memorial Day.

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