Memorial Day

Throughout the country this weekend, small American flags will dot our cemeteries.  They are faithfully placed there by groups like scout troops, Civitans and veterans organizations to remember the service these deceased veterans have performed for their country.  But I doubt any one of these groups will find one country graveyard in the backwoods near Bonneau.  I am not sure I could find it myself.  It is where my grandfather, John Dempsey Parker was buried.  He served in the Army in World War I.  I remember an old template photo of my grandfather in his olive green wool uniform.  He was so young looking.  He came back from that war with respiratory problems that developed into lung cancer because he was gassed in the trenches in France.

Easier to find is the cemetery in Goose Creek where my dad and mom are buried.  Daddy was career Navy and served in World War II—largely in the Pacific—and the Korean War.  He served on mine sweepers, which had the chilling task of intercepting and removing live mines floating in the ocean, ready to destroy any unsuspecting passing ships.  Daddy never talked about his military service, but I do remember him saying mine sweepers rocked and rolled in the ocean. He remembered great waves covering the ship.

Martin Crocker is an old Navy guy and has a book with photos and the history of the ship he served on.  I have often wondered if he and daddy ever served on the same fleet during the war.  We all know Len Farrington was rightly proud of his military service in the Navy and made it his life’s mission to remind everyone that this country was an amazing nation to live in.  On this Memorial weekend, when you see the flags, remember that each grave represents a story of service to their country that we may never know, and a family that remembers.

Right now, Emily Miller is doing another project for veterans, and Harvey Mayhill is actively involved in honoring our deceased and injured vets returning home.  Steve Matson and Ella Jane Messer are active in a wonderful local Civitan organization.  They would be happy to tell you about the activities their organizations are involved in.  Ask them how you too can remember.

Pastor Pam