Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Weekend -- memories & memorable

Dear reader, I do not intend a pun with the title of this posting. It just happens that the holiday which initially was named "Decoration Day" is now called "Memorial Day". And during the three-day weekend that ended May with both the traditional and the observed holidays, I had memories of earlier editions of this holiday, as well as having new ones made (hence, memorable).

I've written about the two Memorial Days before. E.g., see the 27 May 2008 post on my other blog, "Glen Alan's San Antonio".

Memorial Weekend of A.D. 2010 got started a bit early, on Friday morning when I heard a new song on WSM. It was a new song by the artist, Sammy Kershaw. It's called "The Snow-White Rows of Arlington" and was penned by Hugh Prestwood. It begins thus:

. There are a lot of perfect reasons
. To never fight another war
. There are a lot of perfect questions
. As to what’s worth fighting for. . . .

and goes on to meditate on those who died in our wars, and why they died. Then comes the refrain:

. Adios sweet home and family
. Wave goodbye to your ( Louisiana ) son
. You will know why I’m leaving when you see
. The snow white rows of Arlington.

Sammy commented that he'd recorded several editions of the song, with different State's name in place of his native Louisiana. The final verse evokes the green, grassy, tree-spangled hills of the National Cemetery, each headstone a shrine. Then concludes with poignant questions, including "Aren't I the keeper of the flame?" The final refrain is slightly but significantly different:

. Adios sweet home and family
. Wave goodbye to your ( Louisiana ) son
. And if it be my fate you’ll find me
. Proudly sleeping in the snow white,
. When you see the snow white rows of Arlington.

Chills went along my spine! I clearly remembered my visit to Arlington back on Memorial Day of A.D. 1999. How awestruck I was when I looked over those rows and rows of snow-white gravestones! THAT year, BTW, was the most recent previous year (I'm fairly sure) when the traditional Memorial Day (the 30th) fell on Sunday and followed the very next day by the observed holiday. Just like this year's calendar.

My favorite radio show, the Grand Ole Opry, featured many comments and songs by the cast, hi-liting the true reason for Memorial Day, and honoring the fallen. I myself posted on Facebook, about the two Memorial Days and urging citizens to remember those who had fallen in defense of freedom on both days. Monday evening Eddie Stubbs commented on the significance of the holiday and its history, during his "Hall of Fame Monday" show on WSM.

But before I heard Eddie, on Memorial Day (observed) afternoon I got a treat more along the lines of many citizens' thinking about the holiday. I listened to a baseball game!

And what a game it was! The Nashville Sounds (AAA, Pacific Coast League)were hosting the finale of a four-game home series with the Iowa Cubs. For most of the game it was a real pitchers battle, as both teams remained scoreless and managed only 3 hits. But in the bottom of the Eighth, the Sounds exploded! First the team got a couple of runs, then shortstop Luis Cruz (#3) came to the plate and belted out a Grand Slam home run! It was thrilling to listen to my old buddy Stu Paul call the play-by-play on that "grand salami" as he labelled it in his follow-up remarks.

And so the Nashville Sounds won 8-0 over Iowa and went 3-1 in the series at Greer Stadium (plus having a commanding season record against that team). The Sounds are at the top of their division in the league and hold one of the best records in the PCL. And they have yours truly eager to attend a Sounds game at Greer Stadium! Hooray, Nashville Sounds!

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