Remembering those on Memorial Day- Across the nation flowers will be planted, flags will be placed

Written by Dan Moran. Posted in Featured

Published on May 24, 2017 with No Comments

A Prayer

There are men and women from these great United States serving in the armed forces today who will need to be remembered for having given up their lives when this holiday rolls around again this weekend.  And sadly, as long as there are evil, crazy, power-hungry people habiting the planet, soldiers will die.  How many of our fine young men and women have to be killed before peace can truly erupt around the world?

There was a song out when I was young entitled “Where have all the flowers gone?” by the Kingston Trio.   It had a very repetitive beat played beneath a poem that I only now realize was probably meant  to be that way as the story is the same today as it was when it first hit the charts.

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

The next verse changed to young men, then soldiers, then graveyards until the graveyards went back to flowers…”and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on” sang Sonny and Cher.  Vietnam, the Middle East and hopefully never…but looking scarier and scarier…Korea.

In cemeteries across the nation flowers will be planted and placed next to flags on the graves of so many innocent and lost souls.  I believe the fallen soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women and reserves who gave their all are all in heaven as they gave their last breath for our freedom.  That is a wonderful thought, and one day we will meet again.

However, in the middle of the night, when a parent or spouse or son or daughter finds they cannot sleep over their loss, heaven is far away.  They need strength now…today…tonight, when they are alone with their thoughts.  All the hopes and dreams and plans and fun, the tears and laughter that can no longer be shared with their guy or gal who died bleeding red, white and blue, they are the truly forgotten ones.

So, in this small space in this small paper, I offer my prayers and the prayers of so many for all who have been left behind.  God is good and all-knowing and always present which means some of our prayer energy needs to be offered for understanding and faith.  I pray that a child can move though life with one parent gone forever, while a piece of the remaining parent does their best to do their best in all things.  A wife or husband who hugged their honey goodbye and finds they will never be together again lives a pain that others who did not suffer such a loss will never know.

So, God…in Jesus name, I pray that you will give strength to those who are truly vested in Memorial Day.  I pray that you will shelter them with your love.  I pray that you will help them in their most alone moments as they live in but a shadow of their “coupled” life.  I pray that you help them through this life and that you accept their pain as their penance and forgive them if they may turn from you a little.  I pray, God that you let them remember all the great times with their lost loves, and to cherish the little moments that brought them together in the first place.  Thank you God, for the beauty that you will bless them with in the days ahead, and let their remaining time here on earth be lived in honor of their fallen soldier.  Finally, I pray that you help mankind find a way to discontinue adding to the rolls of those we salute on Memorial Day.  Amen

Daniel G. Moran is the general manager of Calumet Park Cemetery. For more information, call 219-769-8803 or visit, www.calumerparkcemetery.com or Facebook at mycalumetpark.

Northwest Indiana honors its veterans on Memorial Day

Following is a listing of Memorial Day-related activities and services around Northwest Indiana:

Wednesday, May 24

• Lake County’s Musical Tribute to Veterans will take place at the Lake County Public Library at 1919 W. 81st Ave. in Merrillville. Dr. John Ban will lead the program from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

• The city of Valparaiso’s Memorial Day service will take place at 9 a.m. at Foundation Meadows Park, 3210 N. Campbell St. Marine Corps veteran Joe Baczynski will offer a personal reflection on what Memorial Day means to him.

Saturday, May 27

• The Duneland School Corporation will unveil its Veterans Memorial at 9 a.m. at Chesterton High School’s football stadium, located at 2125 S. 11th St. The public is invited to the ceremony and is asked to park in the northern lot.

• A candlelight vigil for fallen police officers will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Lake County Police Station, 2293 N. Main St. in Crown Point. The public is invited.

Sunday, May 28,

• The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 905, will hold a service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at the southwest corner of Ind. 49 and East Porter Ave., just south of the Porter EMS ambulance barn at 2 p.m. A wreath will be placed at the wall and the names of Northwest Indiana Armed Services members who gave their lives will be read. The service should last around an hour.

Monday May 29

• A Memorial Day service will take place at Stoney Run County Park, 9230 E. 142nd Ave. in Hebron, starting at 2:30 p.m.

• The city of Hobart’s Memorial Day service will be held at the Doughboy Monument at Seventh and Main streets, starting at 11 a.m. American Legion Post 54 is presenting the program.

• The town of Highland’s Memorial Day program takes place at Main Square Park, 3001 Ridge Rd., from 10 to 11 a.m.

• The annual Crown Point Memorial Day parade begins at 10 a.m. from the municipal parking lot across from Col. Wheeler Middle School, 401 W. Joliet St. The holiday service follows around 11 a.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, 555. S. Indiana Ave.

• Portage American Legion Post 260 invites the public to the community’s Memorial Day parade and service. The parade assembles at 10:30 a.m. at Portage Mall off Central Avenue, begins at noon and concluding at Calvary Cemetery. For more information, contact Post 260’s Rob Rodriguez at 219-364-6413 or email rob.rodriguez@gmail.com.

Observance of Memorial Day

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.

Visit a Veteran’s Cemetery – If there is a veteran cemetery near you, take the family there and place small American flags or red, white and blue flowers on the graves of soldiers.

This is a great way to remember the reason why we celebrate Memorial Day and recognize those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Fly the American Flag – It is traditional to fly the American flag at half-mast until noon on Memorial Day. This is traditional and, after noon you can raise the flag to full mast.

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