Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flowers At The Cemetary

Ever since I was a child,the Saturday leading up to the Memorial Day,was the day my family went out to buy and deliver flowers,to my grandparents grave.
This ritual was an important part to the start of the upcoming summer,it meant fun would soon be upon us with swimming and picnics.
But first we needed to focus on the importance of those who could no longer be with us.
There was something wonderful about walking around the cemetery watching all the cars pull up,people walking to the various Head stones to plant or deliver their flowers to a waiting vase.
This loving gesture was proof to me that their was something more besides this planet,that we lived on,these were not bones in a grave,but real people who lived and loved and maybe died to young.
I can remember walking and looking at the different stones,the great and the small,the new and the old,those that were well taken care of and those lost in time and leaning a little to the side.
Who were these men and women,what where their lives like and how did they live and die?
With the grass so well maintained and the smell of the flowers every where,this quite,peaceful setting almost seemed joyful.
This Memorial Saturday,I decided that since I could not be at the Memorial Day Parade on Monday,due to my work schedule.
I would some how find a way to remember a soldier or two,whose grave seemed lonely.
First I headed to Putnam,Conn.where my material grandparents are laid to rest and wandered around until I saw a grave of a man who served in the Korean War.
No flowers sat by his head stone and I felt this was the one I needed to leave my lily by.
Next on to North Grosvenordale Cemetery,where my parents and brother lay and with my last pot of flowers,I saw a white washed,paint peeling wooden cross,which bore no name or date.
Thinking this a rather sad sight,I decided that since I don't know whose buried here,maybe a soldier,why not leave it at the cross in honor of all the soldier asleep in this cemetery.
Sunday when we attended Church Service Fr. Peter spoke about Memorial Day being not just for the Soldiers but also for all Christens who have lost their lives fighting for their beliefs.
It became clear to me that this was what I had done,with out any knowledge.
One pot of flowers left for a soldier and one pot of flowers for those who have given their lives for the faith.
Both of whom have given us our God given right to live as we choose and to pray in faith,not fear.
Because of both we live in a country with freedom of choice..

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Line In The Sand"

Last night my husband and I drove to Woonsocket Rhode Island,to attend a rally to help support the fire department over an old World War 1 monument,which an atheist group,from Wisconsin, and one resident of this town,feels its an infringement on their rights because it has a cross sitting on top of this deteriorated cement self.
Now not only does this group dislike the monument,but the fact that the firemen prayer,on the Woonsockets Fire Department web site,holds the words "God" and "Amen",in its prayer,imagine that.
Why,you may ask,does an atheist group,from across the country, care about a small poor,run down town like Woonsocket and their religious beliefs and monuments? Because they are just that,small and poor.
Its always easier to push around those who can least afford to fight back,its the bully effect.Pick on the weakest,win and become more emboldened, then work your way up to the bigger,stronger and towns.
Last night as we stood in the cool evening air,with about 1,500,like minded,though diverse, people,it became clear to me that if we want to save our way of life we need to make our presence known.
The a military veteran speakers said "We have gone to other countries to bring freedom and rights of worship to those in far off lands,and if need be we will also fight for the rights of this country."
"We have draw a line in the sand and its around that monument." "They will not tear it down,nor will it be moved." "We will encircle this monument and if need be fight for it."
We need to be aware and we need to stand up.
It's alright to afford others their rights but we also need to show we are not going to tolerate the abuse of our faith and belief systems,because of one person.
Several days ago,while some high school students sat at an anti bullying speech,many of these young people got up and walked out as the speaker berated,those who believe in religion,he called them "pansy assed".
Just because a few people feel religion is a joke,does not mean the rest of us have to passively be mowed over.Martin Luther King and Gandhi both knew that in order to win the fight we must make our needs know in a pacifistic way.
The rights of the one,do not surpass the rights of the majority,but if the majority remains silent and action less,then the minority will win every time.