“The richest person in the cemetery is the one who left the most happy memories.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
May is here and with it, Memorial Day. The Avenue of Flags will guide visitors from Aurora Avenue North into Washelli Cemetery, leading to the Veterans Cemetery and the Doughboy Statue. There will be a wonderful program with a band concert and speeches; the grounds will be filled with visiting families placing flowers and tending to graves. It’s a “pretty big day,” and one that we look forward to each year.
While many of the events celebrate the military, that isn’t the only reason to visit us on Memorial Day. The day May is a day to honor all family members who are no longer with us, a day to walk through the grounds and reminisce.
There was a time when we buried our dead in the local churchyard or on the grounds of the family farm so our loved ones were close at hand; visits were commonplace and regular. As we moved away from this and began establishing cemeteries away from the center of our cities and towns, visiting the interred became more of an event: if we hitch up the horse and buggy and drive all the way out there, we take a picnic and spend some time. Garden cemeteries were designed to serve to as a place of comfort and solace for the living, not just as a repository for the dead. Flowering trees, sculpted hedges and manicured lawns provide a delight for the eye, healing for the soul. They are there to be enjoyed.
Modern life is busy and hectic for all of us; even with the best of intentions we are not always able to pay cemetery visits as often as we might like. So please, join us this Memorial Day. It is a day for family so bring a picnic; take some pictures; explore. Spend time with Aunt Maud and Grandpa Linus and second cousin Walt. Reconnect with your family’s history and be its link to the future.~~Mary Gibbons