by Lynne Belluscio
For the past couple of years, the Historical Society has organized the volunteers at Machpelah Cemetery for the placing of the Veterans’ flags. Again this year, we will meet at 9 am on Saturday, May 25 at the entrance on North Street. Anyone is welcome to help honor those who have served in military service.
Originally Decoration Day was a day to honor those who had fallen in battle, but over the years, flags are placed on all military graves. I think that it is only fitting that as the flag is placed at the grave site, the name of the veteran is recalled. For many of the sites, no one has visited the grave since a year ago. So at least, once a year the name is read aloud, and we, the living, remember.
Several years ago, we began a notebook with information about the veterans - - if we could find it. The cemetery records often do not include the military record, so we look for an obituary, or genealogical information that might give more information. Sometimes we don’t even know what branch of the service the veteran served in. This is an on-going project that is challenging and rewarding.
Several years ago, I remember listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion tell a story about the man who had been selected to give the Memorial Day speech in Lake Wobegone. He had given it a lot of thought, and finally he told the crowd that no words that he would say, could ever convey the honor that should be bestowed upon the Veterans....