About a week ago, signs popped up on our medians advertising a Memorial Day program in historic Pecan Grove Cemetery. It’s one of the oldest cemeteries in north Texas and is the resting place of (as one description put it) everyone from governors to gunslingers, and veterans from every war since “The War of Northern Aggression.” I like it because they have actual statues and tombstones, not just flat markers. And because I’m a little weird and I like old cemeteries. So when the time came, I went to the program.
I found a space under a tree to leave the car; only afterwards did I realize it was also uncomfortably close to a Lieutenant Colonel from WWII (sorry sir, no disrespect intended). Grabbing my trusty blanket from the back of the car, camera in hand, sunscreen and hat in place, I ventured forth to see what this celebration was all about.
It was perfect. Volunteers handed out water bottles at the entrance, VERY welcome on a hot, sunny day. The area in front of the stage area was full, but I found a spot by the (middle school) band.
The honor guard and color guard marched in and presented the colors. Apparently it had been a while since the color guard had done their little routine…the gentleman in charge had to shout at them several times to get them where he wanted them, which tickled me (and the gentleman next to me) no end.
We stood with hands on hearts and said the Pledge of Allegiance. Someone sang the National Anthem. There were deliciously partisan speeches by our U.S. Representatives (one a former POW), a roll call of deceased military currently residing in the cemetery, a fired salute, Taps played by a lone bugler, “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes played by local firemen (who knew?)
a flyover by a historic plane, and much more.
It was everything a Memorial Day program should be. Afterward, I felt as though I had truly honored the day and those who made it possible.
And after that, the Boy Scouts served everybody lunch! Brisket, cole slaw, beans, cobbler, and what one young Scout solemnly assured me was “famous” Green Apple Pie.
I can’t think of a better way to spend Memorial Day. How did you spend yours?