The memorial days I remember I’ve always been cold. Up here in the North country the last days of May can go from balmy to snow at the blink of an eye. I remember standing in snow storms reciting the pledge and trying to keep my notes from blowing away when I was asked to speak at various memorial day celebrations and observances.
Despite the weather I was always warmed by the enthusiasm and serious dedication of those who attended. The respect and appreciation of attendees was palpable and when I got home I always looked at the official Navy picture of my Father’s graduation from basic training. He came home and many did not.
This memorial day was much like the others. It started out cold, gradually warmed up to be beautiful but I don’t know about celebrations or if there were any gatherings or speeches. The cemeteries are decorated but they are quiet. Things are still strange and a bit out of kilter. Official virus announcements are officially boring and the range of thinking is still wide spread. There are those still worried and nervous and some verge on seeing these last weeks as a giant hoax. As I said before there are going to be a lot of questions in the months ahead.
In the meantime we are being “allowed” to bury our dead. We can’t go into the church unless we cull the herd, so we just go to the cemetery and stand away from each other. Someone the other day came up to me and said ” I’m not afraid” and hugged me. They said “thanks for your care for our loved one”. I thanked her and looked around to see if anyone was taking pictures or if some hyperactive social distancer was going to scream at me. I keep remembering the old adage that a nation can be judged by the manner in which it honors and buries it’s dead. God help us all.