Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Photo taken last month at the Veteran's Memorial Park in Mansfield, PA.

Waterloo, NY is "sanctioned by the U.S. Government" as the birthplace of Memorial Day--apparently the Confederate ladies decorating graves during the war don't count 'cause they lost--and to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our country, they're having a pizza-eating contest. (The solemn commemoration of the dead is on Decoration Day, May 30, which starts with a church service and looks kind of interesting, actually).

Memorial Day makes me miss my grandmother (the one with five brothers in the Pacific in WWII), who hauled us all out to the cemetery for the VFW ceremony every spring and bought paper poppies everytime she went to the grocery store. Which I realize is missing the whole point, but I think underscores the effects of family on people's values--most people my age and younger (at least, the ones I come in regular contact with) couldn't care less about American history or honoring veterans.

Starting tomorrow all the battlefields and other historic sites around New York are open for the summer; my inner American history nerd is like a kid with a $10 bill waiting for the candy store to open ("OK, I can get six of these and one of those...or five of those and three of these...").

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