In Memory of Old-School Memorial Day: Photo Essay

Memorial Day ceremonies in Whitestone, New York were held in the local park where the war memorials are located.

Memorial Day ceremonies in Whitestone, New York were held in the local park where the war memorials are located.

As reported in the previous post, for the first century of Memorial Day, from 1868 to 1971, the holiday was always marked on the originally-designated day of May 30. Today being May 30, there’s a valid opportunity to briefly remember that previous custom but show some images of the holiday on the more recently-designated one of the fourth Monday in May.

Yes, there were car on sale and hot dogs being grilled from coast to coast this past Monday, but in the late mornings and early afternoons across the country in many small towns in every region, even in the Whitestone suburb of New York City, the same traditional ceremonies in town squares or parks near monuments built to honor those servicemen and women who fought for the United States in war but died on the battlefields were held.

After the solemn playing of “Taps,” the speeches and the benedictions, came the parades with those old soldiers and sailors who survived and returned home, ranging from World War II to the Iraqi War.

Everyone appreciates a three-day weekend, author included. So this is not some lament about the need to return Memorial Day to May 30, even if it falls on a Wednesday or Thursday. It’s not the date one pauses to remember those who gave their lives for their country – its the fact that we do remember.

A little boy lost in his thoughts sits at another war memorial in the park

A little boy lost in his thoughts sits at another war memorial in the park.

Veterans of World War II and the Korean War stand together.

Veterans of World War II and the Korean War stand together.

The parade begins with cars from decades past.

The parade begins with cars from decades past.

A troop of Girl Scout "Daisies" carrying the flag as they march.

A troop of Girl Scout “Daisies” carrying the flag as they march.

Elderly World War II vets.

Elderly World War II vets.

An old Army truck also appeared in the parade.

An old Army truck also appeared in the parade.

Vietnam War veterans.

Vietnam War veterans.

A somewhat ghostly image of those who've been serving in the Afghanistan War and the Iraqi War.

Among parade marchers were those who’ve been serving in the Afghanistan War and the Iraqi War.

Last but not least, this little fellow who barked until his picture was snapped. Dogs have also played a role in many American wars.

Last but not least, this little fellow who barked until his picture was snapped. Dogs have also played a role in wartime.


Categories: History, Holidays, Memorial Day

Tags:

%d bloggers like this: