People, places, and things that touch the lives of all of us and our friends and neighbors
May 21st, 2011
Memorial Day Weekend! Great time to gather the family together and have a picnic at the lake or in the Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains.
When I was a little girl Memorial Day was a holiday from school. I was raised in New Hampshire. Our school did not get over until the third week of June, so a day off at the last of May was wonderful. The end of May in New Hampshire meant the lilacs were in bloom. I always thought they were beautiful and they smelled so good. We would put vases full of lilacs on the soldiers graves in the cemetery. I did not have any kinfolk that were veterans, but I learned respect for their service to our country early on.
Americans have celebrated Memorial Day in May since the mid to late 1800’s. Congress passed the National Holiday Act in 1971 declaring the last Monday of May the Memorial Day Holiday. Take a look at this site for more information: http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html
There was always a big parade through town with horses and soldiers marching to the cemetery.
I was too young to ride in the parade so I always watched, and thought of the day when I would be old enough to ride my horse in the parade. One particular year my family and I went to Harrisville, NH to watch the parade. Harrisville is the town where my family would spend the summer. Our place was on the lake and we had so much fun with the horses and also the boats, but that is another story. Back to the parade… All of the marchers had gathered in the cemetery and the horses were lining up for the 21 gun salute. One horse inparticular was not wanting to stand at attention and was rowdy. The girl could barely make him be still.
The cemetery had an entrance that was lined with concrete posts and wrought iron rails with arrow like spikes coming up out of the posts every now and then. You probably would have had to have been there to understand, but it all made an attractive fence and gate for the entrance to the cemetery.
When the first round of shots were fired, the rowdy horse reared up, twirled around toward the gate and came down right on the wrought iron rails and arrow like spear heads that were placed as decoration on top of the concrete posts of the fence. You can imagine what happened next. Chaos everywhere. People trying to get out of the way and people trying to get the horse off of the fence where it had impaled the horse’s chest.
For others, the 21Gun Salute continued, but the celebration was already over for many of us near the entrance. My Mama came to get me and quickly took me away from the scene of the accident. I don’t remember what happened to the horse, but I want to think it survived to ride again.
Memorial Day will always be special as we remember the many men and women who have given their lives so we can have the freedons we enjoy. And I will always remember that one particular parade.
All of us at Highland Manor Inn hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Memorial day Weekend.
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