It would be hard to ask the mom of a dead soldier to put flowers on the grave of the enemy—the point is no one had to ask.
War was raging in 1863 when a battle took place in Columbia, MS. Later, after the armies had moved away from the area, some women—some of whom had lost sons in the battle—placed flowers on the graves of their dead. Among the dead lay the Union Army soldiers who had shot at, or perhaps even killed, their sons.
One of the women, as she went about her task, realized that the mothers and loved ones of the dead Union soldiers were far away and unable to lay any token of remembrance on the graves. Without hesitation, she circled an “enemy” grave marker with a ring of blossoms. Others quickly followed suit. The following year they returned to repeat the memorial act, and two weeks after Lee’s surrender, a delegation of women traveled to Vicksburg, MS., and decorated the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers there. Women in other parts of the South took up the practice annually in the spring, and within a few decades the idea had spread over the entire nation.
Though originally intended to honor war dead, Memorial Day has come to include, over time, all those whose lives are held in sacred remembrance. For many, the day is thought of grimly as a time of auto races and highway death statistics. Yet we should be proud to remember this: that on a particular day, in a particular place, a particular grieving mother dropped a simple blossom on a patch of scarred earth. It was both a gesture of love and an act of forgiveness. Show some love, and forgiveness this week. I hope you have a meaningful holiday!
Postcards for Campers!
Kids love to get postcards while they are at camp. We have packs of postcards available, all that is needed is to write a note, stamp and mail! Please pick up a pack today! Camp starts next Sunday, May 31st.