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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day- In The Way Life Should Be

Porcupine is spending Memorial Day Weekend far from Cape Cod, as is his wont, in the tiny town in mid-coast Maine where he has his weekend summer retreat, better known as The Hut. However, this is a big year, as it is the town's Bicentennial, which will have events all summer long. We've already had the chicken roast, where the firemen spray enormous banks of charcoal grilling chicken with Italian dressing in Miracle-Gro sprayers, and the big Strawberry Sale. but, how does a town celebrate Memorial Day in its Bicentenial Year?

By dedicating a new Veterans Memorial for the town.

The program began at the new flagpole, with a new flag that had been flown over Basra in Iraq, which was presented by the local Maine National Guard. The Boy Scouts were able to manage the halyard properly, and the crowd sang the National Anthem. Please note the attire of the lady standing directly in front of Porcupine. While Porcupine has such a headscreen, he generally reserves it for gardening, and does not wear it for public appearances. However, he is bound to admit that she is the only person not to have her face bitten by midges and black flies (the mosquitos will come later), and the camoflage top makes a nice, soldierly touch.

The Colonel of the National Guard gave the speech, in which he noted that it has become the norm to call Memorial Day a day to honor all the dead, but he asks us to remember that it was created for, and is intended for, military members who made the ultimate sacrifice. The memorial is very much a community affair - a local mason is building the rock wall behind the memorial (he was delayed by last month's heavy rains, so it isn't quite finished), the local tombstone company engraved the black marble monument, and the local garden club did the landscaping while a local builder did the excavating. Everyone pitched in, so eveyone was a part. Porcupine's sibling asked if it was necessary to sing all four verses of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, along with God Bless America - but Porcupine asked, in how many places would audiences of 75 or so be counted upon to know all the words?

Later, as Porcupine planted small blue flowers on the graves of his grandparents and great-grandparents - so far from the country of their birth, but resting so comfortably in the land of their choosing - he notices that the annual allotment of American flags had been placed in the holders of all the tombstones of those who were veterans - even next the the small white marble stone, washed clean by time and snows, for a Revolutionary War veteran.

So honor the military members now at rest - Porcupine will re-read his favorite poetry -HERE - which is called war poetry, but which captures the grit, pain, honor and heroism, and makes us all long for a world in which such sacrifice need never be made again, but recognizes that until such a world is here, we owe our deepest gratitude to the men and women who died to keep us safe.

Indeed, there is a reason the Maine State Motto is- The Way Life Should Be. Please enjoy a happy and safe Memorial Day.

(Porcupine regrets the problems with editing that prevented this post from being displayed when it was first posted, and hopes it will be enjoyed anyway)


Blogger Ogre said...

It's nice to see pockets of real America still exist -- even if millions are allied against us, including those in Washington. If the ACLU gets wind of the fact you people actually sang "God Bless America," you can count on dozens of lawsuits.

6:40 AM  

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