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Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is Memorial Day.
A day where for some strange reason, those who have died in war are remembered by people grilling in their backyards, drinking beer and going swimming. I was reminded Memorial Day was approaching when I tried to enter the local Jiffy Mart and was faced with the towering display of a cardboard and glass mountain. ""What's all this beer stacked here for I asked? (ever the journalist I am, yesiree...)

"Oh that's cause its Memorial Day this Monday" said the casual clerk with her chewing gum. Oh yes, that's right I thought! I am always caught off guard with these summer holidays. They seem to pile up while I'm not looking. I stared at beer mountain and wonder when exactly it worked its way in as a symbol for this particular holiday.

When I was a little girl my grandfather took this day most seriously. I remember sitting in lawn chairs on the well manicured and pristine front lawn of the retirement village where he and my grandmother lived, watching the plastic lawn ornaments flutter in the breeze, while my grandfather talked about the war. He talked about when war was necessary and when it was not. I didn't know that those conversations were being recorded in my long term memory, I only knew I adored my grandfather and that he was sitting with me and I loved that.

While my own philosophies concerning war seem to fall more along the lines of John Lennon's song "Imagine" and my grandfathers were centered around the glory of WW 2, it is still my grandfathers voice that comes back to my ears today after all these years and I wish I had listened more closely and asked more questions. Not only about war and when it is or is not necessary but about everything else that I would eventually want to know about. Grandpas are one of lifes greatest gifts. So wether he served in any war or not if you still have yours with you, treasure him. Oh....and ask him lots of questions about life while you sit on the front lawn.


  1. your essays always make me think. this one made me think of how i feel about memorial day. actually i never really have thought much of it until this year when i saw some vets on the news speak of there emotional problems mainly due to the public not appreciating them when they get home from their service. the whole thing is so sad.
    i also thought of my own grandfather whom i loved very much but he didn't tell stories. or if he did i don't remember them. i don't think he talked much but i remember the smell of his breath and i remember his gentleness and how i always called "dibs" on sitting next to grampa at supper time. and i always got to!
    lastly i loved john lennon's song "imagine" also and your mention of that also reminded me of a song that is similar because it talks of a day when "even the dessert will bloom" by seals and croft. i don't remember the name of the song but i think it's nice to have songs like those to think about.

  2. I had forgotten about that seals & croft song. Thanks for the reminder Marmie!