Let’s play word association. What do you think of when you hear “Memorial Day”? Okay, hands up, who said “Sale?”
Those of you whose hands are not up—you’re showing your age.
In the small town in Ohio where I grew up, the cemetery was up on the hill behind the Church of Christ. It was called Schoolhouse Hill, because the school stood beside the cemetery. And every Memorial Day in my childhood, the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) put down their beer bottles, donned as much of their old uniforms as they could still get in to, and held a ceremony up on the hill, distributing flags to all the graves of old soldiers.
Every house flew a flag, and most people pinned on red artificial poppies that they bought from the VFW–the funds going to veterans in need.
Fallen warriors were not the only ones honored, though. It became a day to honor one’s ancestors as well. That was the day that people cleaned up the area around family plots, put flowers in pots, or planted them in the ground and stood and thought a minute or two about each ancestor. People still do that in small town America. So in the spirit of a Memorial Day that used to mean something more than “Sale”, here are some past posts about America and patriotism in travel and books to add to your travel library. So plan a trip, read a book, remember.
A ceremony in Fredericksburg Texas and a magnificent World War II museum. The book: Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942-April 1943.
Visiting a cemetery in Normandy, France, and the battlefields of D-Day. The book: The Steel Wave by Jeff Schaara.
A visit to the cradle of America, Philadelphia. The book: Miracle at Philadelphia
A salute to veterans in my own family, and books about war. The books: Several by Michael Schaara and Jeff Schaara
Revolutionary War and early American sites to visit. The book: 1776 by David McCullough.
Here’s a touching post from Vacation Gals about a visit to the Pearl Harbor WWII site in Hawaii.
Remember, you now are able to rate posts (even old ones). Let me know which ones you like and you’ll get more of the same.
For your convenience, I put several links to Amazon in this article. If you buy anything at all at Amazon, please click through one of my links or the Amazon search box. You’ll be showing your support of A Traveler’s Library, and helping me pay the rent on my Internet address. Thanks so much!
Thanks, as usual to those photographers at Flickr who took some of these photos. I took the Normandy, the Civil war grave and George Washington photos. If you are interested in using a photo, be sure to ask the photographer for permission.
Happy Memorial Day weekend. What are your plans?