As May was ending and warm sun of a blue-sky afternoon was yearning to put an end to spring and acknowledge summer’s advent, my grandmother and her sisters would talk about Decoration Day. A strange term it seemed to me is what I thought as a young child. Perhaps it was the day to take down the heavy winter drapes and replace them with the lace curtains of summer?
But I learned it was a day when people would decorate cemeteries with flags to remember the fallen.
My grandmother and her sisters did not lose anyone in the terrible World War (the one we now call the First) nor in the second planet-wide conflict a generation later. Our family had no graves to decorate on Decoration Day.
So, for me, I recall it a quiet day. No school. No work. Just a quiet late spring day.
Quiet like the silence of the fallen. No longer do they speak or laugh or shout with glee. Those who knew them only keep their voices alive in their memories. But to the rest of us, only their silent memory remains.
Today, Decoration Day, for me is the Day of the Silent.