Monday, June 1, 2015

Memorial Day - Honoring the Veterans in American Canyon

Steve and I attended the Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in American Canyon.  The park is located just about a mile from our home along a country road that parallels busy route 29.  Several members of the U.S. Army raised the flag.  A blustery, windy day, Old Glory's stars and stripes rippled and waved in the stiff breeze.

There were the usual speeches and observances that one ordinarily encounters at these events. Some local musicians sang some patriotic songs, and members of the VFW Post #11099 presented flags and flowers that they placed on the granite memorial.

I was pleased to see how well-attended the ceremony was.  The true meaning of Memorial Day often gets lost in the crush of barbecues, swim parties, and beach expeditions.

We arrived early to be able to get seats and while we were waiting, Steve and I reminisced about the Memorial Day ceremonies of our childhood.  I remembered going to Worcester to see the parade in front of City Hall.  Soldiers in uniform marched solemnly, and tanks and large guns separated the battalions.  There were marching bans, boy scouts and girl scouts, and many politicians.

I recalled one particularly unseasonable Memorial Day when it was overcast and chilly, threatening rain.  My mother hustled my sister and me into sweaters and coats and made us drink warm milk "to keep you warm".  Someone gave us little flags and we were chastised every time our arms sagged -- the flag always had to be held upright.  It was impressed on me, and to this day I hold it dear, that the flag is the symbol of our country and should always be treated with the utmost respect.

Below are scenes from the ceremony held this past Memorial Day in American Canyon.

The flags are raised as the Star Spangled Banner is sung.
Members of the VFW present flowers, a flag and a wreath which they placed on the memorial (below).

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