Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day 

Fred pointed out the other day that this is the second Memorial Day weekend in a row that he has spent in Kuwait. We need to start some less sucky holiday traditions, don'tcha think? As I said in my last post, the kids and I have spent this weekend trying to get organized for the move, so this weekend is in no danger of going down in history as the Best Memorial Day Weekend Ever. Even if it had been a little more memorable, it would have tough competition, for the Best Memorial Day Weekend Ever happened in 2001 in Hawaii.

My sister was visiting at the time, and we went all went together for the day with Mike's Cub Scout pack to Punchbowl National Cemetery, where the scouts were charged with decorating the graves for the observance of Memorial Day.

The grave-decorating activities kicked off with the Navy band playing and several speeches. During the invocation, I found myself studying the crowd, and . . . what the heck?! Was that a MOUSE crawling out of that scout's shirt collar?

Why, yes, yes, it was in fact a sweet little pet mouse! I had to take another picture, because who was going to believe this without some photographic proof?

Soon the boys were cut loose to start fixing up the graves. The Boy Scouts were charged with planting an American flag on each grave:

And the Cub Scouts followed along on lei duty. Hawaiian scouts have been adorning the graves with leis for Memorial Day since 1950. Here's a lei that Mike placed. We strung this one ourselves from plumeria blossoms we took off the trees in our yard:

Some of the graves are decorated by friends and relatives, and it's always interesting to see what they choose to leave in remembrance. This grave, I'm pretty sure, wasn't decorated by the scouts:

The scouts swarmed across the cemetery like so many flag-bearing, lei-laying ants and accomplished their work in short order. In less than an hour, the cemetery had been transformed from the smooth expanse of grass that you see behind Mike and Fred in this picture:

to this:

And THAT, my friends, was the Best Memorial Day Weekend Ever.

Yes, that was a very good Memorial Day.
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