I Put Flowers On Strangers' Graves
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

I Put Flowers On Strangers' Graves

"On Memorial Day, I don't want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live." —Eric Burdon

519
I Put Flowers On Strangers' Graves
blogspot

We remember. As humans we remember a lifetime worth of events, people, relationships, successes, and failures. We too remember the loss of loved ones. In fact, it is these losses that are often recalled in vivid detail. I want you to recall the first time you lost someone you loved; remember the sting, the drop you felt in your stomach. I will posit that you have someone to remember this Memorial Day.

To reference the title, I put flowers on strangers' grave. I am going to share my perception of this holiday. Through revealing how I recognize Memorial Day I want to highlight a fundamental problem that exists within this holiday.

As memorial day is just around the corner, it is custom for people to decorate graves. To me, this holiday is a time to remember not only soldiers but anyone who has passed that has touched your life. When I was younger I did not see the point of visiting graves. This year was the first time I visited graves. My granny and I took to half a dozen different cemeteries and decorated what seemed like 50 graves! It truly was life changing experience.

We started off going to the graves of family members that I knew. We made an emotional stop at my grandfather's grave which I assumed was the end of the tour. This was actually the first leg of many in our Memorial Day excursion. At one point I asked why we were doing this. Granny looked at me and said," I am not really sure. It is something I have always done. I stop at these strangers' graves because it was important to my dad so I just keep it going."

With her explanation came stories. Every time I put a flower down, every grave we visited, I was presented with a name and a story. I paid tribute to mothers who died of cancer, babies who never made it out of infancy, and soldiers who defended America's freedom. I came to realize that the tradition was more than a monotonous practice. I found out that there was a deep meaning in honoring the lives of people who went before me. It gave me peace; hope that one day, a hundred years from now, someone will hear the legacies I heard on this day.

THE PUNCHLINE: As I am entering adulthood, I find that the world is apathetic. Too many people are disrespectful and refuse to observe tradition. It took only one afternoon of visiting the graves of total strangers to appreciate the life I have and this simple observation of life itself. One afternoon showed me the value of appreciating the loved ones I have. The beautiful gesture of honoring the dead, soldier or non, is dying out if you ask me. It is truly a shame. Visiting the resting place of people who were once a part of your life is one of the purest reminders of humanity and humility there is, and so many people are missing out.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

91890
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

70089
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments