"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Oh, the memories of being a child on Memorial Day. I loved this holiday. The annual parade down the main street of our town with the fire engines, the marching bands, the marchers from many different organizations, the bagpipers, the service men, the drill teams, the vintage cars, the politicians and the list goes on. I got to march in the parade once as a Cub Scout next to my father, who was the Scout Leader, pretty special.

Then there were the barbecues and family gatherings; the start of season for watermelon, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cold root beer and ice cream. It wasn't until I went to the local cemetery with my father to visit my grandfather's grave and there they were...........American flags everywhere. As far as my eyes could see, the stars and stripes of red, white and blue lining the streets of the cemetery and neatly placed on gravesides. I asked my father, "Why all of the flags?" He responded that they were placed on the graves by the members of American Legion and the VFW to commemorate Memorial Day. And here, I thought that it was parade to start summer.

He told me that Memorial Day was created first to commemorate those who died in the Civil War. It was then expanded to remember those who died while serving the military and fighting for our freedom. Very cool and an amazing sight that I will never forget. Now some fifty years later, I am a part of the Rotary Club and proud that we are the service organization that places flags on the gravesides and lining the roads of the cemeteries. We were asked to assume the responsibility a few years ago due to the declining number of veterans and the Club was happy to do it.

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