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Happy Memorial Day!

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“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”

Moina Michael

Those words were inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae and were written in 1915 to honor the fallen heroes of war.

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 and first observed on May 30 of that year. Of course the Southern states being what they were celebrated their own Memorial Day on a different date until after World War One when we all finally decided to “get along” and celebrate on the same day, the last Monday in May.

As a kid I remember the parade in New Milford, where occasionally my brother, sister, myself and even my mom would march with our various clubs or sports teams and then we would have a cook out at our house. One year we had to use the charcoal grill in the garage because it was raining. What a smokey treat that was! Our cook outs were always such a great time! We would grill hot dogs and hamburgers, my mom would make her awesome cole slaw or one of my aunts would bring cole slaw and salads from the Wyckoff Deli. Wow, I would kill for some of that cole slaw from the Deli! Sorry Mom, yours is good too!

We would play games in our backyard and just have a great time enjoying the usually gorgeous May weather in northern New Jersey. I am forever grateful and appreciative of the time I had growing up. My grandparents, my mom, my aunts and uncle(s), brother, sister and cousins were the best family I could have ever hoped for.

I also remember the Veterans standing on the street corners or in the shopping plazas handing out the red “Buddy Poppies” that everyone would then attach to the rear view mirror in their car. They never asked for a donation but how could one not put a dollar or some change into their bucket? Do the Veterans still hand out those flowers? Or have we become so busy or numb as a society that we no longer care?

On this Memorial Day I would ask everyone to reflect on the sacrifices the members of our Armed Forces made so we can live and enjoy our picnics, cook outs, parades and cherished family time.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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Written by David A. Ufer

May 28, 2012 at 6:32 am

Posted in Family, Holidays

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