I’ve been selling a lot of artificial flowers in Reds, Whites, and Blues lately – they’re for the gravestones of loved ones, they will be cleaned up, left for them, and remembered for their sacrifice. It certainly is a sight to behold.
It reminds me of the Day of the Dead celebration I witnessed when I visited my friend a few years ago. Her culture does much the same thing, clean up the gravestones, leave behind flowers, candles, and they spend the whole day remembering every single relative they lost. Instead of a few gravestones here and there being given special care, each and every one of them would be taken care of. The whole cemetery would fill with colors and flowers and signs and incense and light.
I haven’t lost very many relatives, but the ones I have lost are buried really far away. There are two cemeteries where there are a lot of relatives from generations past – my grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents and their children on one side of the family and my great grandparents, great great grandparents going even further back on the other side of the family. I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen pictures of their gravestones on FindAGrave.com I have also seen a few pictures from a civil war group who came to give one of their fallen soldiers a proper burial. After all this time … he was remembered.
I think a ‘Day of the Dead’ is just what we need, a day to remember everyone who ever lived and isn’t with us anymore. I plan to take a look at the cemeteries this weekend and remember our fallen fighters, but also the ones they fought for. I know that it’s our lot to fight wars, but I’ll still long for peace so that no family has to be separated this way again and in the mean-time, I’ll wish that our warriors rest in peace and their families enjoy the hard-won peace that cost them so very much.