Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day in the Cemetary

I was drawn to the cemetary today, thinking about my mother who died on May 22, 1993, and my dad, a World War Two veteran. He died a few months later on September 3, 1993. Cancer, both of them. They were cremated and laid to rest in Wisconsin, and I'm in Chicago this weekend. I've ridden the CTA trains past the beautiful St. Boniface Cemetary in Uptown so many times that it immediately came to mind. I wondered how many little U.S. flags I might see on veterans' graves. I realized later that I had come too soon on this Saturday. Monday, after all, is Memorial Day, and St. Boniface Cemetary will have a Field Mass and Holy Communion at 10:30 a.m. A sign just inside the gate said that "You Are Codially Invited!" I'm not a Catholic, but I thought it might be nice to attend that ceremony. I arrived at N. Clark and W. Lawrence, the southwest corner of St. Boniface, and walked through the first open gate. A groundskeeper, a friendly Hispanic man in his fifties, with limited English, smiled warmly and offered me a little U.S. flag and memorial program. I smiled back and declined, waved my camera at him, and he understood that I was just an observer. There were very few people in the cemetary. Living ones, I mean. I counted three couples tending to relatives' graves; placing fresh flowers, tidying up, brushing off a head stone. One young man was riding his bike through, enjoying the serene park-like setting. I saw a few flags, but did not count them. I would estimate, however, that perhaps one in thirty graves had a flag. I'll try to return on Monday morning. I'll still be thinking about my parents, and about all the veterans laid to rest here, and everywhere else. Leave a Comment on our Guestbook! CommieBama Hats and More Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Follow ChiNewsBench on Twitter