Memorial Day

cemetery2This year is really going by quickly and Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as some people call it, is almost here. It’s the time of year when we remember loved ones who have passed on and relatives that we never met but have heard about. I didn’t know until I became an adult that Memorial Day actually began as a time to remember men and women who died while serving in the military. Although we don’t necessarily think about it in regards to Veterans only, we do remember everyone who has passed before us.

The gravestone of sisters Sarah and Gertrude Mullins resides at Iron City Cemetery nested in an aspen grove alive with yellows on September, 18, 2012. The cemetery is located two miles east of St. Elmo behind the Iron City campground.  Mahala Gaylord, The Denver Post

The gravestone of sisters Sarah and Gertrude Mullins resides at Iron City Cemetery nested in an aspen grove alive with yellows on September, 18, 2012. The cemetery is located two miles east of St. Elmo behind the Iron City campground. Mahala Gaylord, The Denver Post

My dad was in the Air Force and we normally lived away from our relatives. Sometimes when we were in the area we would visit the cemeteries and graves of our ancestors. If we were there around Memorial Day, we would take flowers to place on the graves and talk about them and their lives. It was also a time to look around the cemetery and wonder about all of the other people there, some who had died when very old and others who were just babies.

cemetary1Jack and I still enjoy browsing around cemeteries. I think it’s because we have a fascination with the past. It’s interesting to look at the headstones and try to imagine what had happened. Sometimes we find a lot of people of various ages who died around the same time and we have to question whether it was some kind of disaster or epidemic.We love when cemeteries have really good information posted regarding some of the major causes of death. The Iron City Cemetery near St. Elmo, Colorado, is an interesting one to visit and they have a list of what the people died of. Many of them died of mine accidents.

Cemeteries are a glimpse into our pasts. They tell stories of hard times and good times. Colorado, as well as all states, have many historic cemeteriesSome of the tombstones are very simple and made of wood while others are extremely elaborate, and then there are always some graves that are unmarked. I know a lot of people think they’re a little creepy or scary, but I think they’re peaceful and calming, and these were the people who got us where we are today.

Take a little time to think about relatives and loved ones who have passed on. Be sure to take more time to think about those who are still here. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Cemeteries on the National Register of Historic Places

15 Must-see Historic Cemeteries Across the U.S.

 

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