I've grown up in Missouri most of my life, it's definitely a conservative state, but in most ways I've grown to like that about it.
This lens is dedicated to the random childhood memories about growing up in this state, good or bad they made me who I am today.
Memorial Day Memories
When I was a small boy, my grandmother was on the cemetery committee in Mcgirk, Missouri. It was a small town in between Jefferson City, and California. It was a small cemetery, fitting for a small town. But the history contained in some of those graves stays with me to this day. Anyway it was my grandmother's duty on the committee to every year set out the American Flags on each grave of a military veteran from previous wars.
My grandmother had lived in the town for almost all of her life so each grave stone and flag had a story. The first grave we would always honor was My Grandfather's marker; He had served in World War II, and in the Korean War. She would tell me about his duties of engineering and building roads, bridges, and runways for the military, and wait for the enemy to destroy them over night and quickly rebuild them before the next U.S. Military convoy would need to occupy the transportation routes.
She told me of how the Military pays for each solders footstone for their grave, so my grandfather requested our family save money by using his footstone as his headstone upon his death.
We would move on to each deserving solders grave, some dating back to revolutionary war veterans, and several Civil War Union Solders. Their headstones worn and hard to read from centuries of rain, moss, and age. We would spend the day placing little American Flags by each Solders grave, saying short prayers for them, their loved ones and family that remained.
We did this every Year until my grandmother moved to St. Louis, Missouri. So for almost a decade every year my grandmother would take me to the cemetery to honor past friends, strangers, and family for their dedication, and sacrifice to our country and military.
In retrospect I see how these solders helped shape this small town. My grandmother told me about how when my grandfather was called off to war and he had to leave the general store that he ran down the road from the cemetery. She told me of how she tried to run the store and raise a family, but the store eventually went under. When grandfather returned, was he upset? No, he simply buckled in and started working on other projects in the town. She would tell me about how every war the men would get drafted and sent of to China, Germany, Korea, Vietnam and such. Leaving the elderly, woman, and children to pick up the duties on the farms and in the local work force. With the great depression, and strapped war time budgets, some farms went under, some families moved away, a few new families would move in.
I still stop by that cemetery to honor my grandfather, and little brother's graves. Around Memorial Day I see the little flags in place, and I pray who ever are placing them there gets the same tour through history that I once got.