Friday, May 30, 2008

A patriotic season

I would like to have attended Memorial Day services at the Citizens Cemetery on Monday or at the VA facility today, but it was not to be. I recall that Mom called the holiday Decoration Day in the past, which was not uncommon. According to the U.S. Memorial Day Organization, the observance was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 and first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890 the holiday was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead.

In many ways, the significance of the day -- to honor our war dead -- has been confused by moving the date hither and yon to give Americans their three-day weekend and, I would guess, by the unpopularity of our most recent wars with many. Memorial Day continues to carry a patriotic theme into public life, however, and the six week period between it and July 4 constitutes what you might consider a patriotic season, during which many houses fly flags or decorate with bunting. Businesses also carry out the theme, as these pictures from one restaurant demonstrate.

Thematic flags.

Small touches, such as a vest for Granny Goose and a special wrapping for the bread basket.

Even a special seasonal liner for the pie display.

But this eagle is hard to take seriously; in fact, he looks to be in agony.

Serious Local Bloggers: Most of the Prescott area bloggers that I read regularly (and there are quite a few, BTW) post on a fairly light-hearted basis about their doings, their creations, their interests, their photography and their activities. However, a small group posts on much more serious topics. In As Your World Changes, a self-admitted long-time computer geek tells of her own gradual vision loss and how she is working to harness computer technology to assist the partially sighted. Another local, Robert Heiny, focuses on the use of portable computers in eduction at The Tablet PC Education Blog. The Mom and Me Journals describes in great detail Gail Rae's life caring for her aged mother, not as a patient, but as a companion in her declining years. I also have a reader, Digital Karen, down in Scottsdale who, though she usually posts with a light heart, periodically gives insight into living life in a wheelchair. If you know of other area bloggers with a serious message, please add to the list.


Anonymous said...

Vwery nice post.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that we don't honor the war-dead by tarring and feathering politicians on every Memorial Day.

The Artful RV Adventurer said...

Nice tribute, and thanks for sharing the "serious" prescott blogs with us.

Karen of Scottsdale said...

Thanks for the linky love, J. Patriotic decor was quite popular in my home growing up as my mom is a July 4th baby. She's requested in recent years we avoid buying her flag themed stuff as she's got way too much already.

Granny J said...

steve -- glad you enjoyed it. It was not as easy to write as it usually is.

boonie -- not a bad idea.

mark -- I'm sure there are others. I know that there are several blogs with religious themes and some others that present poetry.

karen -- welcome to the link! My mom was inclined to tears when she heard the poem "In Flanders Field." was

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