Week #36 – “Remembered Always…” (Putting the Memorial back in Memorial Day!)

"Senior Rock" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Senior Rock” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #36 – “Remembered Always…” (Putting the Memorial back in Memorial Day!)

Almost immediately after Rob died, a covert band of brothers (and at least one soul-sister!) hijacked our high school’s “Senior Rock” — a large flat rock that overlooks the student parking lot.  For decades, it’s been the senior class’ unique privilege to paint the rock with their very own messages.  I couldn’t tell you what was on the rock before…but what was on it after Rob’s cronies were done will be forever painted on the walls of my memory in signature green, black, and silver:

#50
R. CHURCH
HHS ’92 4EVER

That was in September.  For eight months the seniors haven’t touched it.  Even after they’d lost a classmate of their own in February, they let his tribute stand.  A symbolic half-staff for those of us still remembering.

I finally got word last week that the senior class — the Class of 2015 — re-claimed their rock for themselves.  I was thrilled!  I wanted to take a moment to thank them publicly for allowing Rob’s tribute to stand as long as it did — and for allowing his name to watch over them daily as they scraped and clawed, laughed and cried, celebrated and crumbled, and otherwise rode the wave of arguably the single most memorable year of their lives…their last year of high school!

But most important — it was like raising the flag to full staff.  It reminded ME of the resilience and resolve necessary for life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happyness!

Memorial Day, for certain, is a day set aside to remember those who died serving our country.  But before it was called “Memorial Day” — it was called “Decoration Day” because it was a day when families reunited at burial locations to “decorate” the graves of their fallen.  And because many people traveled very far to get there — they would relish the opportunity to visit and reconnect with relatives, usually accompanied by a pot-luck or picnic supper nearby.

So, our modern traditions of family reunions and bar-b-queing are not really that far off — it’s the REMEMBERING that we’re sometimes missing!

Your assignment for this week: Put the MEMORIAL back in Memorial Day!  Enjoy your family, the nice weather, and the freedom you have — just remember to REMEMBER!  This may mean simply raising a flag, bringing a note or flowers to a grave of one who lost his/her life in service, or writing a name in the sand for all to see.  You could make a donation, plant a tree, or lay a wreath at the base of a statue.  Even after the day is past, the flowers fade, or the ocean wipes the shore clean — you never know how long your tribute will stick to the walls of someone else’s memory!

Thanks to all those who painted the rock — those who let it stand — and those who reclaimed it for the Class of 2015.  Your memorial is now part of my memory “4EVER”.  😉

How will you put the MEMORIAL back in Memorial Day?!

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts or ideas in the comments!

5/22/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

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