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A Significant Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend lies ahead, and I have everything ready at last. Although Congress set aside this day to honor our war dead, many of us now decorate the graves of all our loved ones on Memorial Day. This year I will lay flowers marking the day on my father’s grave for the first time.

My father did not fall in battle, but he did serve his country. Last autumn he passed away at the age of ninety.

When he was buried on a chilly day in November, the cold weather prevented the immediate engraving of his cemetery marker. The silent tombstone stood over him all winter. Recently, I learned that the stonecutter finally completed the task earlier this spring when the weather warmed up. He also affixed to the stone a bronze medallion commemorating Dad’s Navy service.

At my father’s graveside, I had received his veteran’s flag from the hands of the sailors who folded it. Over the winter, the flag, too, waited as I considered the best way to preserve it.

Just yesterday, the cherry flag case I finally ordered arrived at my door. I carefully inserted the flag. To the front I applied an enameled Navy insignia and an engraved plaque. It reads:

    Earl E. Reed

    Proud Veteran of WWII

    8/18/1927 – 10/25/2017

Just in time for Memorial Day, I can display the encased flag on a shelf in my home. This weekend I will visit my father and view his completed cemetery marker. As a good genealogist, I will take a photograph to post on his Find A Grave memorial.

All is ready for this solemn holiday of remembrance.

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