Saturday, May 29, 2004

Memorial Day

The Saturday before Memorial Day is when my Dad and I (my kids ride along sometimes) do the 'Cemetery Run'. The late Memorial Day this year required Dad to go last weekend, when I was busy with other domestic obligations. I may venture out on my own this year, but wanted to share my Memorial Day remembrance.

I was a late baby boomer. Some, like Mitch, prefer a more traditional definition of Baby Boomer (children of people of child bearing years at the end of WWII). My Dad would have been 16, then, Mom barely 9. Regardless, my point is, that those of us late boomers are of the 'fortunate' generation. One that did not face a draft, did not face major military strife, did not have to make the sacrifices on a battlefield that our ancestors had.

On the sidebar, I have a couple "Though the Looking Glass" links. These are pointing to some very valuable genealogical tools that I use to find out more about my past. What have I learned, and how does it relate to Memorial Day? Well, let's run this reverse chronologically.

My dad was the youngest in the family, and his father, being a widower soon after my dad was born, remarried. Gramma who was also a Widow, had several boys whom joined the clan, and it was a nice size rural farm type family. My dad enlisted in the Navy, and is a veteran of the Korean War. The other boys, including Grampa, were all vets of WWII. Gramma had 4 Star flags hanging in her window. One for Grampa Otto, who was a mail carrier in WWII (Otto drove ambulances in WWI) and one for each of her boys, Vane, LaMoyne, and Bob.

Bob didn't make it home. He was a casualty in Europe. His body was eventually returned and is interred in the Dummer family plot in Henderson, MN.

My Dad's side of the family are recent (recent in the sense that my maternal background goes back to the Mayflower) immigrants to the States. I am fortunate to have 5 generations of them all buried in the same cemetery in Nicollet, MN. They traveled to the US soon after Eastern Germany lost during the Napoleonic battles. Yes, my ancestors fought against Napolean.

My maternal background is more domestic. I only have to go back a few generations to find Civil War veterans (one even buried right here is St. Paul) and a few more generations to find Revolutionary War decendancy. In fact, an Eaton family homestead, in Green Lake Wisconsin, was acquired through a War of 1812 Bounty Land Warrant.

So Memorial Day gets me going. I will be visiting Oakland Cemetery, to visit Uncle Ansel's Civil War headstone, and recall the valor of my ancestors, who proudly defended this nation, from Francis Eaton of the Mayflower, to my Nephew, the Ranger.

Have a safe and healthy weekend!


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