Memorial Day 2019

So, it is Memorial Day.  Take some time to give thanks today to those who have kept us safe.  . and those who gave their all in doing so.  Take some time also to remember those who loved you and cared for you.  Treasure your relationships.

I am reminded a lot that life in a small town/community is pretty nice.  We have our problems, but we still have our ideals and you can still see the streets that have the “My Three Sons” and “Brady Bunch” houses on them in my hometown.  One of the things about small towns is that “old habits and celebrations” continue to last and be meaningful.

For my entire life, I cannot remember a Memorial Day that, in my small home community of Alexandria, Minnesota, I did not stand at the corner of 5th and Broadway to watch the short Memorial Day Parade.  You see, at 5th and Broadway the building stands that my great-grandfather, John Anderson, built upon arrival in this country and community in 1872 – almost five years before Custer’s Last Stand took place several hundred miles to the west.  The building housed the Anderson’s first cabinet shop, then its first furniture store, and eventually their first funeral parlor. . . . .and that building still stands today in my ownership.  In it, I can see the field stone foundation laid by my great-grandfather and on its third floor I can still see the rough-hewn lumber, that I assume he planed,  that was used to build the rafters and ceiling.

I will be on that corner today to watch the Memorial Day Parade and in it we will cheer those who have served our country and we will solemnly

Veterans stop at Lake Agnes to place a wreath during the Alexandria Memorial Day Parade.

wave at the Gold Star Mothers (mothers who have lost children in active duty) as they are motorcaded by us.  Children of the community will march as members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and high school band.  And of course, we will clap politely as those that have served from World War II, to the Korean Conflict, to the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the never ending missions for peace in Afghanistan and the Middle East march by.

Members of the Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops Honor America in the Alexandria Memorial Day Parade.

Some Memorial Day Mondays it has been cold at 5th and Broadway, some Memorial Day Mondays it has been raining at 5th and Broadway, and some Memorial Day Mondays it has been scorching hot at 5th and Broadway.  However, every Memorial Day Monday it has been an honor to be at 5th and Broadway.  Today, will be no exception.

Related:  Here are a couple of other Memorial Day items I thought you might enjoy.

This article from the History section of the Minneapolis StarTribune tells the story of funeral director Joseph William Brown who served his country during World War I and then served as a funeral director for 52 years.

And this article tells the story of a photo you can see within the article that went viral.  It is a photo taken in 2011 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

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