Saturday, May 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1614, May 28th, 2011



This week I interviewed someone who makes it their mission to decorate graves of veterans in their home town.
Q: How did you start doing this, are they relatives?
A: No, I was born in Jersey and came here at the age of 7. But my dad and mom joined this church when we moved here.
Q: How long ago was that?
A: Oh 1951.
Q: Are you a veteran?
A: No but my dad was. He felt that veteran’s graves should be remembered and kept up. Especially on Memorial Day.
Q: They used to call it Decoration Day?
A: Yes they did but that changed somewhere along the line. I remember as a boy my mother referring to it as Decoration Day.
Q: So tell me about this section here.
A: This is a section of the cemetery my dad was assigned. Back then the Diocese had no perpetual care and the surviving soldiers volunteered to take a plot. I used to help my dad with an old push mower. When he died I continued the tradition. My boy used to help too before he went out of the area.
Q: What do you put on the graves?
A: A small flag and a floral blanket. It’s small but I get to about 11 of the guys.
Q: What wars were they from?
A: WWI and WWII. Then one from Korea was added. But these are my guys, this is who I take care of.
Q: What’s the hardest part about this job?
A: As I get older it gets tougher because they are scattered. The cemetery is pretty big and I have to find them.
Q: Ever miss one?
A: Once but I doubled back. If I have some left over and I have the energy I find another one that can use the extra touch.
Q: Ever think about who will take your place once you’re gone?
A: Don’t know but I’m recruiting up a Vietnam vet. He came with me last year but this year he had plans. His son just joined the Army so I think he wants to keep tabs on him.
Q: You do this out of your own pocket?

A: Yes, small price to pay though for such a big thank you.
Q: Some will say that it’s strange you do this for people you never even met.
A: That’s all silly talk anyway. Well they served for me, you, all of us, they didn’t know us either though, did they?
Q: No they didn’t.
A: Well then I better get back to work before it rains.


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