By the time I was three, both of my biological grandfathers had passed on. Neither had served in the military, in fact our family, though patriotic, did not have a lot of servicemen. My great Uncle served in the Army Air Corp as a pilot during WWII, and another served in the Army during Vietnam.
When I was a kid, we called Memorial Day Decoration Day. This was always a fun time. We would always go to either the Park City Cemetery or the Henefer Cemetery to beautify the graves of my Grandfathers and others. We would load up rakes, shovels, and other tools to make everything look pretty.
Henefer was my favorite. My Grandpa Francis was buried there as well as other family members. This was an old cemetery sitting atop of the foothills of Henefer. We also would go deer hunting in this area but that is another story. Away from the main cemetery was a lone grave. We called it the paupers grave. As I remember the story, he died with no money whatsoever and no family, so the town of Henefer had buried him in the most economical way possible. We always made sure that we took care of his grave. My brothers and I felt very sorry for him.
The cemetery at Henefer had a lot of history. I remember reading all of the headstones and wondering about the story of each person lying in rest. I still do that to this day whenever I am at a cemetery. I also remember that my Dad was carrying a shovel and was walking amongst the graves when all of a sudden the ground gave way under him and he sank above his waist into a grave. I don’t believe that vaults had been used on most of the graves. I am pretty sure that it scared us kids much more than my Dad.
Once I joined the Army and moved away, I celebrated Memorial Day somewhat different. Usually it was military themed as thankfully, I had no family buried where I have been stationed. As I get older and have sons and good friends serving in the military and have lost friends who were killed in action, my heart is filled with pride and thankfulness for the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this country.