Decoration Day in Iowa

This photograph of my grandparents says on the back that it was taken in 1929 on Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day. I believe my grandmother may have been wearing a red poppy on her dress. In later years, when communities had to have blackout plans in place during WW II, one of my grandfather’s roles during practice blackouts was to go out to the highway that ran through town to ensure that all the cars were stopped and had their lights out for the duration of the test. The second photo is from a recent visit to my grandparents’ gravesite in Orange City, Iowa. As I pondered this Memorial Day and an appropriate post for a family history blog, I realized I likely had ancestral or family ties to most of the wars in which the nation has engaged, including through my father, a military veteran of Korea. I’ll keep it simple and conclude with the third photo, an American Legion symbol on the grave of a relative in a Central Iowa cemetery … in honor of every American’s ancestors who lost their lives in the defense of freedom. We are grateful, and you are not forgotten. Rest in peace.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

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This entry was posted in Clausen, IOWA (ALL), IOWA (Central), IOWA (Sioux County), Kreykes, THINGS OUR ANCESTORS DID and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Decoration Day in Iowa

  1. Sheryl says:

    The post is lovely and so appropriate for Memorial Day. Until I read it, I hadn’t realized how long people have worn poppies on Memorial Day. Though now that I think about it, I realize that the poppy tradition probably began after WWI as a memory to the soldiers buried in Flanders Fields.

    • ljhlaura says:

      Sheryl … thank you … I so appreciate your sense of history. It does indeed seem that the tradition was inspired by the poem about the Flanders Fields poppies … and gained strength in the 1920s.

  2. Thank you for that bit of history. I was recently visiting in-laws in WVa and we went to a small (mostly family) cemetery about an hour away in the hills, reached in the end by an unpaved road to a small church. When we arrived the tiny church’s property was packed and finding parking was difficult! There was a good contingent of veterans leading the service and at the end (some will understand how astonishing this is) they had an actual bugler (!) to play Taps, and he played with such feeling…

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