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One way or another, Memorial Day will speak to you.

I was able to visit the gravesite of my grandparents and remember Gram’s rolling laughter and Grampa’s silly sayings. I was able to contemplate perfect geometric rows of Vermont white granite tombstones, reading the names and dates, noting branches of service and symbols of faith. I was able to appreciate the fresh breeze floating the flags and swaying the spreading oak trees. I managed not to get choked up.



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Then, unexpectedly, I found myself on a a parade route. Someone handed me a flag. The wave of emotion announced its arrival in the tightening of my throat. It crashed down on me as I waved that flag at a passing float, full of white haired and shriveled veterans from World War II. It pulled me along with it as I tried to form the words “Thank you,” as I waved the flag, looking them in the face.

By the time the cavalry from the Vietnam era arrived on their steel ponies, I was done. Tears sting when you realize the gratitude and bloodshed they represent. Somehow, hearing lawnmowers and laughter is more precious for the experience waving that little flag on the parade route.

Happy Memorial Day.

© Cherie Cooper-Darragh and trescherie 2012, All Rights Reserved