I can still see my mom sitting at the kitchen table painstakingly making Memorial Day wreaths. She didn’t like the store bought kind and always made her own, at least two dozen or so of them.
Every year she’d stop at Rathbone’s Flair Flowers in Tulsa and TG&Y 5 & 10 store to purchase Styrofoam, fake flowers, labels, glue and the such to make her own wreaths. They featured names such as “daughters,” “father,” “mother,” “brother,” “sister,” “uncle,” “aunt,” and “friend.” She’d glue them on the wreaths and was so proud of her work.
We’d load the wreaths and decorations in the truck of the family sedan and spend Memorial Day driving around Tulsa and the suburb of Broken Arrow visiting and decorating family graves. It usually meant a stop at a family member or twos home for a visit.
And some years we’d get to eat out, which was a bonus.
I have some family members who served in the military including my dad’s father, James Parker, who served in the 72nd Artillery, CAC during World War I and his step-grandfather, Glenn M. Reib, who served in the US Army during World War II. My dad’s brother, Orval, served in the Korean War.
My mom’s brother, Carroll Horton, served in the Army, and her brother, Leon Horton, also spent time in the military. There were several others on my mom’s side who served our great country. In fact, I have a photo I garnered from my parent’s estate of a family member holding a rifle and wearing a military uniform. I have his name written down, but don’t know a lot of about his service. A few years ago, I learned through another family member that I have a family member who served in the Civil War. I need to find his name and look into where he served. It is fascinating to look into family history.
My mom started a family tree many years ago. I have it in her papers and have thought about trying to update it and post it on-line. It’s probably one of those retirement projects down the road.
Since becoming a community journalist, I have covered many Memorial Day services in communities such as North English, Millersburg, Deep River, Montezuma, Brooklyn, Victor and more. Taking the time to reflect on the service and dedication of our military is something none of us should take lightly.
Thank you to all the veterans who served and those today who keep the American Legions and V.F.W,’s alive and well.
Veterans all across this country fought and died for our rights and freedoms in various wars. None of us should take the US Constitution and Bill of Rights for granted or become lazy in supporting them in this country. Once our rights have been swindled from us in the name of safety due to the action of a few or some other bologna, they are gone.
You can take care of that business at the ballot box. No matter what side of the fence you are on, I hope you voted in the primary election. I hope you get out and vote, period. It makes a difference. You make a difference. Change happens when people get involved in their neighborhoods, communities, towns and cities.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.