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Old 05-17-2004, 01:57 PM   #1
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Decorating graves for Memorial Day

Do you decorate graves for Memorial Day? Or do you do something else to commemorate friends and relatives that have passed on?

Recently I was offended by this "educated" out-of-stater that came to our school. He went to visit the cemetery and I thought he'd find it very interesting because there's some very old memorials there. His only comments when he came back was it was the "cemetery of plastic plants".

Here, we clean the graves the weekend before and decorate the graves on Memorial Day usually with silk flowers. This area is practically desert and a few people have planted flowers that have survived. There is no grass and no water to water the grass if there was any.

I always buy a ton of silk flowers to put on my upteen relative's graves. Lots of my living relatives either don't have the time, the money, or the inclination to either clean the graves or decorate them. I think the cemetery looks BEAUTIFUL on Memorial Day. The American Legion always has a breakfast and some doin's at the cemetery. And the cemetery STAYS beautiful because the plants are "plastic", and don't dry up and blow away like "real" flowers.

Anyway, now that I'm planning my annual shopping trip to get a couple cart loads of silk flowers, I was wondering what other people do for Memorial Day.
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:04 PM   #2
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We always decorate the graves of family around here. I always go around with my parents, sometimes my sister goes too. Done it all of my life, used to take my grandparents around. I decorate my grandparents, greatgrandparents, and great uncles and aunts and other family members. We go to 7 cemetaries in 5 different cities. But they are close together so we get it done in one day. We put out silk flowers and sometimes some live cut flowers.
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:15 PM   #3
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i usually go w/my mom to decorate the graves but this year i'm going to Cana-duh! :)

Our tribal war mothers group usually invites a veterans group to come and do their thang for all the veterans. Prior to the day, the tribe comes and mows the lawn and makes the area all nice. We always decorate all of our family's graves w/something.

Afterwards the war mothers have a feast at the tribal headquarters and sometimes a gourd dance or small 1 day benefit dance.

Its a good day! I really enjoy spending this time w/my mom.
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:46 PM   #4
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We decorate graves for Memorial Day. It's sad that a lot of people don't and the young ones (my age!) aren't interested in it. I think sometimes it's a tradition that is dying at the wayside. Other nationalities have such a lack of respect for elders, why on earth would they take care of them after death? I hope my children will take pride in their family and remember them during the Memorial holidays. Or I'll come back and haunt them!!!! Just kiddin!! LOL
My fiance's b-day is on the 31st so who knows where we'll be that day but we'll decorate that weekend!
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:33 PM   #5
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Unhappy

Is this holiday only for service people? Or Memorial day in general for everyone?
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:13 PM   #6
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I've always thought of it as a Memorial day for everyone in general. But after doing some checking, it started as "Decoration Day" in 1868 (hmmm, same year as our treaty here) for decorating graves of those that died in service to their country.

Here's something else I didn't know:
To help Americans re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

And there's a big push to get the date set back to the original May 30th instead of the last Monday in May.
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:22 PM   #7
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decoration day....but we always decorate everyones grave....In the old days we would visit our kin up at White Eagle and go up on the HIll..there would be folks there with entire meals cooked and laid out..they would invite you to sit and eat with them, then give you everything, blankets, dishes, all of it ; all of it in honor of there folks. Just 10 years ago the service clubs would be up there for folks. Then to the Creek cemetaries at Wetumka and Eufala and others...lots of folks,,,lots of graves.....more every year.....
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:18 PM   #8
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I never used to be in the habit of going up to the cemetary to clean graves, I always knew my uncles and Mom and everyone else would be up there to do it. But now, my first born granddaughter is up there, she would have been 6 this year, so I've been in the habit of going up there to clean her grave and others of my family. I always bring new flowers and pretty plaques for her resting place here on earth. I know she isn't still there but is in a much more beautiful place but I still miss her.
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:27 PM   #9
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How sad, but how sweet, Kakeeya.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:56 PM   #10
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We decorate graves with plastic flowers. It used to be a week before Memorial day we would all go down and have a "clean up" day complete with a feed for all the community members. Now we go down when we can. We have a committee that is in charge of the services that day. They have an honor song, the VFW vets go down and do their roll call of all fallen veterans. Then we go and decorate graves and give away the plates to family and friends.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:15 PM   #11
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Personally I was never involved with this back home; but I left after college. However; my favorite uncle and his family were kind of the unofficial members that would clean the families graves at the indian cemetary every memorial day when I was growing up. Now; another uncle will be traveling from Umatilla; about 250 miles to take over and clean the sites up. I suppose if I lived closer; I would want to do it too. My mother-in-law just called me yesterday; she wants paint to touch up her family graves out in bush Alaska. They use alot of fake/silk flowers etc. It's kind of a must up here due to the extreme winter conditions and such.
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