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Hazlett Memorial Day meaning blooms flowers

Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day by honoring loved ones with flowers and gratitude. Share this heartwarming tradition today!

Dear readers, this column was originally published in 2005 to commemorate Memorial Day. I have taken the liberty of updating it to provide a fresh perspective, nearly 20 years later.

Memorial Day is a time for us to reflect on and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. It is a day of remembrance and gratitude for their bravery and dedication.

For some, Memorial Day is also an opportunity to visit the graves of loved ones who have passed. While it may not seem like the most exciting way to start a three-day weekend, it is a tradition that holds deep meaning for many families, including my own. This tradition was started by my great-aunt Josie and great-uncle Harrison, a couple who embodied love, humor, wisdom, and compassion.

Harrison and Josie were married for 55 years and lived in a charming Victorian home in Pontiac. They were known for their storytelling, their kindness, and their ability to listen. Despite the loss of their only child, they found joy in their family and in each other.

Every Memorial Day, Harrison would order pots of pink and white geraniums to decorate the family tombstones. When he passed away, I took on this task, accompanied by my aging aunt Josie. She guided me through the cemetery, sharing stories and memories along the way.

As we walked among the graves, I began to realize the untold stories that lay beneath the surface. The dates on the tombstones revealed the tragedy of a brother and sister who passed away within days of each other. Obituaries in a family scrapbook shed light on their cause of death, but the emotional impact on the family remained unseen.

One year, I decided to clean my uncle's tombstone, hoping to honor his memory. Josie, ever practical, found humor in my gesture, reminding me that true connection transcends physical symbols.

In the years since Josie's passing, my parents and I have continued the tradition of visiting the cemetery on Memorial Day. It is a time for us to remember, to express gratitude, and to honor the love that binds us together.

Despite the passage of time and the changes in our lives, we continue to find solace in this annual ritual. It is a reminder of the importance of history, gratitude, and love, all symbolized by the beauty of pink and white blossoms.

As we approach Memorial Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those who came before us, to express gratitude for their service, and to honor their memory with love and remembrance.

In addition to these reflections, I have included a selection of recipes to help you kick off your Memorial Day weekend. Whether you're grilling burgers, enjoying grilled sausages, or savoring a fresh salad, these recipes are sure to enhance your holiday celebration.

So as you gather with friends and family this Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the true meaning of this holiday. Let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future with gratitude and love.

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