Monday, May 27, 2024

Memorial Day in
Small Town America


Driving through a small town in Kansas over the Memorial Day weekend is decidedly different than what would be experienced back home. In my case, back home is a city of over three hundred thousand people. Saint Marys, on the other hand, boasts a head count less than one percent of that size. With that disparity in population counts, you'd think there would be more manpower fueling the drive to decorate for the holiday weekend in a place much larger than Saint Marys, but I doubt that is the dynamic behind the difference.

All along the main street this weekend, there were flags posted from the tip of utility poles. The festive look, combined with the historic buildings in the diminutive downtown area, made for the quintessential Americana look. Nostalgia and commemorations go hand in hand in this type of tableau.

There is no other reason than family connections that would call me to a place halfway across the continent from the city I now call home. This, of course, reminds me of the importance of remembering and celebrating such ties. While our extended family has very little in the number of relatives whose service to country resulted in the ultimate sacrifice, a day like today eventually turns to thankfulness for not only those who served in the military, but for the connections each of us share with our extended family. Being together on a holiday like this seems additionally special.

Whether your town went all out in a coordinated effort to decorate for Memorial Day or remained about as enthusiastic as some larger cities seem to be on this day, I wish you a time to appreciate family in all its forms—from those whose lost lives we commemorate for their sacrifice, to those who served and are still with us. And let's celebrate having each other as supportive family for all the struggles we each face in life.

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