Kerrie Hollihan

Kerrie Hollihan

nonfiction author :: wonder(ing) woman

It’s Memorial Day Weekend

This is a somber week. I’ve been thinking about the men and women who have served our nation and also my family and friends who have gone before me. Years ago, when Memorial Day rolled around, my dad would say, “I’m decorating graves in my mind today.” He meant graves in military cemeteries and in family plots in ordinary graveyards.

World War 1 soldier blowing a bugle.
My grandfather Frederick Urban Logan was a World War 1 bugler in France in 1918-1919.

Memorial Day has long been in my memory. As a kid, I drove with my family to my dad’s childhood home of Moline, Illinois, where we attended ceremonies on the Rock Island National Cemetery in the middle of the Mississippi River.

My Grandpa Logan, a World War I soldier, is buried there now along with my grandmother, as well as two uncles, World War II veterans both, who married my aunts. I remember the peacocks that lived on that Army post the Rock Island Arsenal, and of course the somber ceremonies with rifles firing and a bugler blowing “Taps” on Memorial Day—and at every graveside when a military veteran is laid to rest.

I wrote a Nonfiction Minute about Memorial Day a few years ago, and I hope you will visit this link to read and hear my brief talk about Memorial Day’s history and traditions. Please click here.

Is there a grave you are decorating in your mind this weekend? 

Old soldier poses with his bugle at the American Legion post in Moline, Illinois. Grandpa Logan blew "echo taps" from afar for burials . When he died and was buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery, another person blew "Taps" for him.
Grandpa Logan blew “echo taps” from afar for burials. When he died and was buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery, another person blew “Taps” for him.

1 thought on “It’s Memorial Day Weekend”

  1. So many thoughts from this. I helped my dad decorate graves during my childhood. He was very definite about distinguishing Memorial Day from Veterans Day. My mother also sold poppies on street corners and at local events. How I wish I had one of those poppies !
    Thank you for this piece, Kerrie !
    ~ Mary Lou Evans


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