A Cowboy’s Faith: Day for remembering, honoring

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.It’s time to remember and honor those who’ve passed on. Memorial Day, Monday May 27, is a federal holiday in the United States.

Businesses will be closed and special events will be hosted at many cemeteries.

Yet, likely majority of the population will not visit gravesites. Even sadder they will not even give perhaps a single thought to family and friends gone to eternity.

Oh yes, it’ll be a day at the ballgame, on the lake, long awaited road venture, whatever weather logistics permit. A day without work to catch up on rest is always appreciated.

That’s not what it’s all about. Memorial Day, known as Decoration Day by forefathers recently as the 1960s, is for remembering and honoring those who’ve died.

It was originally for recognizing those who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Now, the day is set aside to honor all those who’ve gone to the great beyond.

During cemetery visits, memories are reflected and typically flowers placed at gravesites. The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom.

Soldiers’ graves were decorated in the United States before and during the Civil War. Volunteers also often place an American flag on graves of those who’ve served in the military.

It is now older generation who visit cemeteries and take part in Memorial Day programs. Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1994, sometimes follow family tradition paying respect to deceased family and friends.

“Your grandchildren will not visit cemeteries,” a good friend insisted when relating annual cemetery stops on parents’ birthdays. The thought hadn’t occurred but it’s likely a fact.

Don’t those young people have any respect for their relatives? They wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for earlier generations.

Yet, what seem important customs are definitely going wayside. Traditional funerals and burials have become less common. More than half of deaths result in cremation with that number increasing annually.

Urns of deceased are sometimes buried, but as frequent put on a display shelf or cremains spread over nature.

Too often there is no memorial or any honor of the deceased gone and forgotten forever. Even with spiritual beliefs assured, that somehow seems an eternal gloom.

Fortunately reminded of John 11:25: “Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him may die, yet shall live.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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