The Oregon Book Report - Book News from Oregon

Remembering Memorial Day

May 24, 2011

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

Many consider Memorial Day weekend to be the unofficial kick-off of summer. Some families camp and others go to the beach. When I was growing up, my parents made sure we always observed Memorial Day and I mean really observed Memorial Day—the day set aside each May to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service to our country.

We would begin observing Memorial Day a few days before the holiday, when members of my family (my grandmother and later my mother) would visit the cemetery, clean off the headstones and put flowers by the graves of loved ones. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary would place flags by the graves of veterans. Then, on Monday, we would attend a community breakfast at the VFW hall.

My step-dad, a Vietnam veteran, now volunteers as a cook at this breakfast. We would then watch a short parade and attend a ceremony that acknowledged the local heroes who sacrificed their lives for their country. There is a flag ceremony and floral wreaths and a bugler, usually from the high school band, who plays Taps.

Year after year, in the town of Clatskanie where I grew up, these traditions continue. I imagine towns and cities all over the United States have similar traditions.  But some people can’t tell you the meaning of the day, and some confuse it with Labor Day, and others know it only as that three-day weekend in May. That’s a shame. Let’s remember what Memorial Day is and why it matters.


Erika Weisensee is a mom, a writer and a Native Oregonian.


Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post

Discuss this article

It must be said May 25, 2011

The Vietnam soldiers always seemed to be missing when people give tributes or think of veterans. Glad you mentioned your step-dad.

Penny Turnridge May 25, 2011

Sweet and simple tribute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the following question to confirm that you are a real person: *

Latest Headlines

Subscribe to Weekly Updates


Top Business News


Top Natural Resource News


Top Faith News


Copyright © 2019, OregonReport. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use - Copyright - Legal Policy | Contact Oregon Report

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Women's Report through weekly email updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

RSS Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)