I attended a quiet little Memorial Day service run by the American Legion post of Woodstock, Virginia. The ceremony was quiet, small and very local. There was an invocation, then a prayer for the Dead. A small honor guard saluted as the National Anthem was played, then we said the Pledge of Allegiance. Speeches were given, a local girl who had won a civics essay wrote about the value she placed on the sacrifice of the men and women who put themselves in the way of danger to protect freedom.
Afterward, there was a quiet little lunch of baked chicken and potato salad and coleslaw, which the folks at the Legion called “serving supper”. The facility is humble, a largish hall with pictures of Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson at one end. I grinned at that. Pictures of past presidents and ladies auxiliary presidents line the wall, going back to the sixties. So old fashioned, yet so poignant, this small town who had provided its share of its young men and women to die on foreign fields through the long roll of history. I found myself deeply moved by the whole thing. Living near DC, you see your share of politically inspired hoopla around the holidays. It’s all rather solemn but in the end this tiny little town, remembering the fallen, meant so much more to me.
Cherish the Living. Honor your Dead.
Happy Memorial’s Day.