Monday, May 26, 2014
Decoration Day as Mom Used to Call It!
L to R: Holcomb - Georgia, Morphew - Tennessee, Vonda Dunn - Indiana, Gave - ?, Bytner - Michigan
Growing up my mother's family always celebrated Decoration Day in a big way. She was a Kentuckian and family was everything to them. She and her sisters would get on the phone the first thing and order flowers to be put on all her family members graves, we were in Indiana at the time. Then the sisters would all get together and make the trip down south to see the graves and visit. Always a big meal ensued during the visit which would bring together long seen cousins. It was a big event that we all looked forward to every year. My mom and her sisters didn't have a lot of money, but they always seemed to have enough for those flowers. Sometimes they chipped in together, sometimes they would buy artificial ones and decorate them theirselves depending on what the money situation was that year, but they never missed a single year that I can remember. many of these great family traditions are gone now. These memories still linger and that's probably why I look forward to my yearly visit to Kentucky to see my cousins. It's not on Memorial Day anymore, but I never fail to visit one or two of the cemeteries and remininsce. My dad's family also celebrated Decoration Day every year the same way. My dad being a 'guy' just didn't get into like the women in the family.
This Memorial Day I spent the morning a little differently at a local Program Honoring our Veterans. A friend asked me to go because he was speaking. It was a great day watching the Honor Guard, my friend the speaker tell his stories of service, listen to the bagpipes, and listening to final taps. It was truly a moving experience. Not one person left with a dry eye and without a sense of great respect for these veterans and the ones that were lost. My friend is a Vietnam Vet and this was the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. My brother, Richard, served there also and I have never thanked him for his service. I'm going to correct that today.
My dad, Vonda, was in WW2 and served in the Phillipines. I'm putting a photo above of my dad and some of the men that he was in Basic Training with. He took the time to write on the back of it their names and the state that they hailed from. I may never meet these men, but if anyone knows these veterans and I would tell them also, Thank you for Serving Your Country. If anyone knows these men I would like to know whatever happened to them. I'm afraid I don't know their full names, but they may remember my dad. Let me know if anyone has any information on them. If you notice in the foreground they had a pet bear.